Cancer Immunotherapy Meets Oncology

pp 127-135


The Express Drivers: Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Redirected T Cells Make It to the Clinic

  • Hinrich AbkenAffiliated withCenter for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of CologneDepartment I for Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne Email author 
  • , Winfried S. WelsAffiliated withChemotherapeutisches Forschungsinstitut Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institut für Tumorbiologie und experimentelle Therapie
  • , Klaus KühlckeAffiliated withEUFETS GmbH

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Adoptive cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-redirected T cells recently showed spectacular efficacy in early-phase trials in the treatment of leukemia. The therapeutic approach utilizes patients’ T cells engineered ex vivo with a CAR which is a recombinant receptor molecule consisting in the extracellular part of an antibody-derived binding domain for major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-independent target recognition and in the intracellular part of T-cell receptor (TCR)-derived signaling domains for T-cell activation upon target engagement. The so-called T-body strategy allows T-cell targeting toward any cell surface structure for which an antibody is available. T cells are processed under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) conditions, engineered by viral vector- or nucleic acid-based gene transfer with the CAR, amplified to therapeutic numbers, and readministered to the patient. Successes in recent trials sustain the hope that specifically redirected patient T cells can control cancer in the long term.