Regulatory T cells in acute myelogenous leukemia: Is it time for immunomodulation?

Celalettin Ustun, Jeffrey S. Miller, David H. Munn, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Bruce R. Blazar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


The microenviroment of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is suppressive for immune effector cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been recognized as a contributor factor and may be recruited and exploited by leukemic cells to evade immunesurveillance. Studies have shown that the frequencies of marrow and blood Tregs are greater in patients with AML than in control patients. Although increased Tregs have been associated with a decreased risk of GVHD after allogeneic HCT and hence may impede the graft-versus-tumor effect, recent findings indicate that that this may not be the case. Because there is a need to improve outcomes of standard treatment (chemotherapy with or without allogeneic HCT) in AML, targeting Tregs present an outstanding opportunity inAML because discoveries may apply throughout its treatment. Here, we review data on the roles of Tregs in mediating immune system-AML interactions. We focused on in vitro, animal, and observational human studies of Tregs inAML biology, development, prognosis, and therapy in different settings (eg, vaccination and HCT). Manipulation of Tregs or other types of immunomodulation may become a part of AML treatment in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5084-5095
Number of pages12
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 10 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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