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Discov Med. 2010 Jan;9(44):62-70.

Adoptive T cell immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.

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Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among gynecological malignances. Despite the initial successful multimodality therapy with cytoreductive surgery and subsequent combination chemotherapy, most patients with advanced disease will ultimately relapse and become incurable. For this reason novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of this malignancy are urgently needed. Adoptive transfer of genetically modified autologous tumor-reactive T cells is a promising novel antitumor therapy for many cancers. T cells may be genetically modified ex vivo to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which are artificial T cell receptors targeted to specific tumor antigens. The resulting T cells are thus programmed to recognize tumor cells. Ovarian carcinomas in particular appear to be suited to this therapeutic approach based on the fact that these tumors are relatively immunogenic, inducing an endogenous T cell response. Furthermore, the degree to which this endogenous T cell mediated immune response is evident correlates to long-term patient prognosis following surgery and chemotherapy. To this end, adoptive T cell immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of ovarian carcinomas appear to be particularly promising and are currently being investigated at several centers in both pre-clinical and clinical settings.

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