J Transl Med. 2007 Jan 25;5:4.

Marleau AM, Lipton JH, Riordan NH, Ichim TE.


The potent clinical responses seen in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) after administration of donor-specific lymphocytes, as well as the correlation between the presence of antigen specific T cells and prolonged remission in these patients, suggests a role for the immunological control of CML. Here we propose Aldara™, a clinically used formulation of imiquimod, as an agent for augmenting immune responses to CML antigens. Our proposition is based upon 3 tenets: 1) Endogenous dendritic cells (DC) of CML patients, which are known to be derived from the malignant clone, express and present various leukemic antigens; 2) CML-antigen reactive T cell clones exist in the patient but in many situations are ineffectively stimulated to cause significant hematological responses; and 3) Antigen presentation by mature, activated DC, which endogenously express CML-antigens may endow the pre-existing ineffective T cell responses with ability to control CML progression. The practical use of Aldara™ as a localized activator of DC in the context of present day leukemic therapeutics, as well as various properties of this unique immune modulator will be discussed.

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