Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hematopathology
Online ISSN : 1880-9952
Print ISSN : 1346-4280
ISSN-L : 1346-4280
Review Article
Treatment of Adult T-cell Leukemia
Kimiharu Uozumi
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2010 Volume 50 Issue 1 Pages 9-25


Adult T-cell Leukemia (ATL) is an aggressive malignant disease of CD4+ T-cells associated with human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I). Prognosis of ATL patients is directly correlated to the subtype of ATL. Treatment of the aggressive forms (acute and lymphoma types) of ATL remains inadequate, as most ATL patients receive conventional chemotherapy without stem cell rescue. At present, LSG15 is the standard chemotherapy for the treatment of aggressive ATL, but the efficacy of LSG15 in most patients is transient. To prolong median survival time, additional therapies for maintenance of complete response (CR) are needed after achieving CR by induction chemotherapy. Improved outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT), despite a high incidence of graft-versus-host disease, has been reported. Thus, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and allogeneic peripheral blood SCT may have great potential for eradication of HTLV-1 and cure of ATL. Recently, reduced-intensity conditioning stem cell transplantation was also reported to be effective for ATL. Although several issues, including selection criteria for patients and sources of stem cells remain to be resolved, allo-SCT may be considered as a treatment option for patients with aggressive ATL. To evaluate whether allo-SCT is more effective than the standard chemotherapy (LSG15) for aggressive ATL, an upfront phase II clinical trial of JCOG-LSG is now being planned. Novel innovative targeted strategies, such as antiretroviral therapy, arsenic trioxide, nuclear factor-κB inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, several monoclonal antibodies including anti-CC chemokine receptor 4, anti-folate, purine nucleotide phosphorylase inhibitor, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitor, bendamustine, small molecule Bcl-2 inhibitors and Tax-targeted immunotherapy, should be promptly studied in order to develop curative treatments for ATL in the near future. [J Clin Exp Hematopathol 50(1) : 9-25, 2010]

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© 2010 by The Japanese Society for Lymphoreticular Tissue Research
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