, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 127-135
Date: 01 Dec 2011

Muscle CARs and TcRs: turbo-charged technologies for the (T cell) masses

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A central role for T cells in the control of cancer has been supported by both animal models and clinical observations. Accordingly, the development of potent anti-tumor T cell immunity has been a long-standing objective of immunotherapy. Emerging data from clinical trials that test T cell immune-modulatory agents and genetically engineered and re-targeted T cells have begun to realize the profound potential of T cell immunotherapy to target cancer. This review will focus on a description of recent conceptual and technological advances for the genetic engineering of T cells to enhance anti-tumor T cell immunity through the introduction of tumor-specific receptors, both Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) and T cell receptors (TcR), as well as an overview of emerging data from ongoing clinical trials that highlight the potential of these approaches to effect dramatic and potent anti-tumor immunity.

This paper is a Focussed Research Review based on a presentation given at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT), held in Mainz, Germany, May 25–27, 2011. It is part of a CII series of Focussed Research Reviews and meeting report.