Vaccination Strategies for the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies

Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (allo-HCT) is a potentially curative treatment for many patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies, including leukemia, aggressive lymphoma and myeloma. The success of allo-HCT is largely based on immunologic graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects mediated by allogeneic T lymphocytes present in the graft. Using mouse allo-HCT models, we have identified host dendritic cells (DCs) as the key initiators and regulators of GVT effects.

The goal of this project is to use clinically relevant mouse models to test the benefit of novel vaccination strategies to initiate donor T cell specific response to the malignant hematopoietic cell clone. Based on recent results obtained in mice, we have initiated a series of clinical trials to test the benefits of DC vaccines to increase antitumor response in patients that receive allo-HCT.