Advances in multi-agent chemotherapy and supportive care have dramatically improved survival of children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL); however, patients with relapsed and refractory disease continue to represent a therapeutic challenge. Hematopoietic stem cell transplant was the first immunotherapeutic approach to be used in the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory disease. However, novel therapies such as bispecific antibodies that engage T-cells and chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) therapy have emerged as novel FDA-approved options that have the potential to become the new standard of care for these difficult-to-treat leukemias. With multiple immunotherapeutic agents in the drug development pipeline, it is important for cancer researchers and oncologists to be familiar with these agents, including their mechanism of action, side effects and efficacy. In this paper, we review the role of the human immune system in the development and treatment of childhood ALL and provide an overview of current and upcoming immunotherapeutic treatment approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy