Purpose: Nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) has been increasingly used for the treatment of hematologic and solid malignancies, and mature donor T cells are considered to be the main effectors of the graft-versus-tumor (GVT) activity. However, the association between degree of donor chimerism and intensity of GVT effects has not been fully elucidated. We recently proposed a unique nonmyeloablative cell therapy using posttransplant cyclophosphamide and donor lymphocyte infusion, by which a significant antitumor effect against murine renal cell carcinoma, RENCA, was induced, although the level of mixed chimerism was relatively low. In this study, we attempted to clarify a role of chimerism for in vivo antitumor effects on GVT effects in radiation-associated nonmyeloablative SCT. Experimental Design: We assessed antitumor effects on RENCA tumors and the degree of donor chimerism after several doses of irradiation followed by allogeneic SCT and compared the results with those of cyclophosphamide-based cell therapy. Results: Allogeneic SCT following sublethal irradiation (6 Gy) induced almost complete donor chimerism, whereas cyclophosphamide-based cell therapy produced low levels of donor chimerism. Nonetheless, GVT activity was much more potent in cyclophosphamide-based cell therapy than irradiation-conditioned SCT. Furthermore, cyclophosphamide-conditioned SCT induced more potent immune reconstitution with less severe graft-versus-host disease than irradiation-conditioned SCT. Conclusions: Our results indicate that a high level of chimerism is not essential for the in vivo antitumor effect of nonmyeloablative allogeneic cell therapy against solid tumor and that the recovery of peripheral lymphocytes after the initial immunosuppression might be a critical event for the elicitation of in vivo antitumor effects of that treatment modality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research