Immunotherapeutic agents may be an attractive option to further improve outcomes and to reduce treatment-related toxicity for pediatric AML. While improvements in outcome have been observed with immunotherapy in many cancer types, immunotherapy development and implementation into patient care for both adult and pediatric AML has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of the bone marrow environment and a paucity of tumor-specific antigens. Since only a minority of patients respond in most immunotherapy trials across different cancer types, it will be crucial to understand which children with AML are likely to respond to or may benefit from immunotherapies. Immune cell profiling efforts hold promise to answer this question, as illustrated by the development of predictive scores in solid cancers. Such information on the number and phenotype of immune cells during current treatment regimens will be pivotal to generate hypotheses on how and when to intervene with immunotherapy in pediatric AML. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the number and phenotype of immune cells in the bone marrow in pediatric AML, ongoing immunotherapy trials and how comprehensive immune profiling efforts may pave the way for successful clinical trials (and, ultimately, implementation into patient care).
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Immune landscape
- Immune monitoring
- Immune profiling
- Tumor immune microenvironment