Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and remains a major cause of mortality in children with recurrent disease and in adults. Despite observed graft-versusleukemia effects after stem cell transplantation, successful immune therapies for ALL have proven elusive. We previously reported immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG ODN) enhance allogeneic Th1 responses and reduce leukemic burden of primary human ALL xenografts. To further the development of CpG ODN as a novel ALL therapy, we investigated the antileukemia activity induced by CpG ODN in a transplantable syngeneic pre-B ALL model. CpG ODN induced early killing of leukemia by innate immune effectors both in vitro and in vivo. Mice were treated with CpG ODN starting 7 days after injection with leukemia to mimic a minimal residual disease state and achieved T cell-dependent remissions of more than 6 months. In addition, mice in remission after CpG ODN treatment were protected from leukemia rechallenge, and adoptive transfer of T cells from mice in remission conferred protection against leukemia growth. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that CpGODN induce a durable remission and ongoing immune-mediated protection in ALL, suggesting this treatment may have clinical utility in patients with minimal residual disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology