With conventional therapy, multiple myeloma (MM) has a poor prognosis. During the last few years, it has become clear that high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support can increase overall survival of MM patients, but further improvement in outcome is desperately needed. The monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) produced by the MM cells called idiotypes (Id) is a tumor-specific antigen due to unique antigenic determinants that are localized in the variable regions of the Ig molecule. Conceivably, Id immunization of MM patients in complete remission could further increase survival. Here we review the scientific basis for such Id immunization.
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