PRAME (Preferentially expressed antigen of melanoma), highly expressed in various solid tumor cells and normal testis, was first isolated as a human melanoma antigen recognized by cytotoxic T cells (CTL). This gene was also expressed in some of the hematological malignancies, including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and multiple myeloma. We and others have extensively evaluated the PRAME expression in various hematological malignancies and demonstrated high expression of the PRAME gene in subsets of AML, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. In addition, we have demonstrated that PRAME was a useful marker for detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with leukemia, particularly those leukemias in which tumor specific markers are currently unavailable. Since PRAME was first identified as a tumor antigen recognized by T cells, the possibility that PRAME is a leukemia antigen recognized by T cells was evaluated, and it was found that PRAME-positive leukemia cell lines and fresh leukemia cells were susceptible to lysis by the PRAME-specific CTL. Five CTL epitopes associated with either HLA-A*0201 or HLA-A*2402 have recently been identified. It is, therefore, an attractive strategy to apply PRAME specific immunotherapy on patients with PRAME positive leukemia in MRD condition.
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