We previously developed a murine model of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) by using human cathepsin G gene regulatory elements to direct the expression of promyelocytic leukemia (PML)/retinoic acid receptor α (RARα) and RARα/PML fusion cDNAs to the early myeloid compartment of transgenic mice. To study the efficacy of noncytotoxic therapy in this animal model, cohorts of naive immunocompetent mice were inoculated with primary murine APL cells from a frozen tumor bank. Arsenic trioxide and liposomally encapsulated all-trans-retinoic acid (Lipo ATRA), alone or in combination, were administered for 21 days by i.p. injection using doses that yielded plasma levels similar to those observed in human APL patients treated with these agents. Lipo ATRA was highly effective in inducing durable molecular remissions in immunocompetent mice [C57BL/6 × C3H F1 (B6C3HF1)]; arsenic therapy was much less effective, and did not clearly synergize with Lipo ATRA to increase the remission rate in immunocompetent mice. The survival of Lipo ATRA-treated severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) animals (lacking functional T and B cells) was inferior to that of immunocompetent B6C3HF1 recipients (40% vs. 88% survival at 1 y, P < 0.001). These data suggest that adaptive immunity cooperates with pharmacologic therapy to induce or maintain remissions in murine APL. It also implies that immunosuppressive anti-leukemia therapies could paradoxically blunt effective anti-leukemia immune responses that are important for clearing small numbers of residual tumor cells after chemotherapy-mediated cytoreduction.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Jul 9 2002