, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 953-962
Date: 22 Apr 2012

Targeted immunotherapy of cancer with CAR T cells: achievements and challenges

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Abstract

The adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing T cells is a relatively new but promising approach in the field of cancer immunotherapy. This therapeutic strategy is based on the genetic reprogramming of T cells with an artificial immune receptor that redirects them against targets on malignant cells and enables their destruction by exerting T cell effector functions. There has been an explosion of interest in the use of CAR T cells as an immunotherapy for cancer. In the pre-clinical setting, there has been a considerable focus upon optimizing the structural and signaling potency of the CAR while advances in bio-processing technology now mean that the clinical testing of these gene-modified T cells has become a reality. This review will summarize the concept of CAR-based immunotherapy and recent clinical trial activity and will further discuss some of the likely future challenges facing CAR-modified T cell therapies.