Immunologic Research

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 85–95 | Cite as

γδ T cells as immune effectors against high-grade gliomas



Almost all individuals diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) will die of their disease as no effective therapies exist. Clearly, novel approaches to this problem are needed. Unlike the adaptive αβ T cell-mediated immune response, which requires antigen processing and MHC-restricted peptide display by antigen-presenting cells, γδ T cells can broadly recognize and immediately respond to a variety of MHC-like stress-induced self antigens, many of which are expressed on human GBM cells. Until now, there has been little progress toward clinical application, although several investigators have recently published clinically approvable methods for large-scale ex vivo expansion of functional γδ T cells for therapeutic purposes. This review discusses the biology of γδ T cells with respect to innate immunotherapy of cancer with a focus on GBM, and explores graft engineering techniques in development for the therapeutic use of γδ T cells.


Glioma Glioblastoma Immunotherapy T cell γδ T cell Innate immunity 



The author gratefully acknowledges the work of Ian Backstrom, Catherine Langford, Dr. Nichole Bryant, and Dr. Suman Bharara in the preparation of figures for this manuscript. Support from the National Institutes of Health NCI Grant P50 CA 097247-06A1 (GYG/JMM), NINDS Grant R21 NS057431-01A1 (LSL), and the Brain Tumor Society Samuel Gershon Leadership Chair (LSL) is also acknowledged and appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology and OncologyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham, Suite 541 Tinsley Harrison Tower, 1530 Third Avenue SouthBirminghamUSA

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