Adult T-cell leukemia: Future prophylaxis and immunotherapy

Mari Kannagi, Nanae Harashima, Kiyoshi Kurihara, Atae Utsunomiya, Ryuji Tanosaki, Masato Masuda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A small population of human T-cell leukemia virus Type I (HTLV-I) carriers develop adult T-cell leukemia after a long incubation period. The results of a series of experiments using animal models suggest that insufficiency of HTLV-I-specific T-cell response induced by vertical HTLV-I infection allows enlargement of the HTLV-I-infected cell reservoir in vivo, a crucial risk factor of adult T-cell leukemia. In this review it is proposed that prophylactic Tax-targeted vaccines for the high-risk group of adult T-cell leukemia, which is characterized by low HTLV-I-specific T-cell response and high proviral load, can reduce the risk. Immunological studies on adult T-cell leukemia patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation also suggest that Tax-targeted immunotherapy may be effective against full-blown disease, although its indication may be limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult T-cell leukemia
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Human T-cell leukemia virus Type I
  • T-cell response
  • Tax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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