Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common form of acute leukemia, is a heterogeneous type of cancer affecting patients’ blood and bone marrow. It is characterized by an overproduction of myeloid progenitor cells named myeloblasts or leukemic blasts. Myeloid leukemia starts from immature forms of cells derived from the myeloid lineage of bone marrow cells.
AML is typically treated initially with intensive induction chemotherapy in order to achieve remission. Some patients are eligible to receive additional chemotherapy or a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), which increases the potential for eradication of residual tumor cells. However, HSCT induces high morbidity and mortality and less than half of the AML patients can be treated with HSCT.
Elderly patients may be unable to complete the full regimen of intensive chemotherapy due to its high toxic side effects. Thus, the majority of elderly patients remain undertreated and continue to experience minimal residual disease (MRD) burden that sooner or later will lead to leukemia relapse. We are developing our new generation DC vaccine formulation for post-remission therapy of patients with AML who cannot undergo HSCT and carry risk for disease relapse.
Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a cancer of plasma cells, characterized by monoclonal plasma cell proliferation in the bone marrow. According to WHO criteria, it is a B-cell lymphoma associated malignant disease with increased production of complete or incomplete monoclonal immunoglobulins. These proteins are detectable in serum and/or urine. Each year, in Germany, about 3,000 men and 2,700 women are newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma (ICD10 C90). MM is the third most common hematologic malignancy after leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, accounting for around 1% of all cancers in Germany.
Myelodisplastic syndrome (MDS)
The term myelodysplastic syndrome stands for a group of diseases of the bone marrow in which blood formation does not originate from healthy, but from mutated cells of origin (stem cells). The bone marrow of patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndromes is no longer able to produce fully mature and functional blood cells from these stem cells. In advanced stages of these diseases, more and more immature blood cells are produced. The blood formation process is thus permanently disturbed. This can lead to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in some patients.