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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2011;344:149-72. doi: 10.1007/82_2010_94.

Adoptive cellular therapy.

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  • 1Division of Oncology and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Cell-based therapies with various lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells are promising approaches for cancer immunotherapy. The transfusion of T lymphocytes, also called adoptive cell therapy (ACT), is an effective treatment for viral infections, has induced regression of cancer in early stage clinical trials, and may be a particularly important and efficacious modality in the period following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Immune reconstitution post-SCT is often slow and incomplete, which in turn leads to an increased risk of infection and may impact relapse risk in patients with malignant disease. Immunization post-HSCT is frequently unsuccessful, due to the prolonged lymphopenia, especially of CD4 T cells, seen following transplant. ACT has the potential to enhance antitumor and overall immunity, and augment vaccine efficacy in the post-transplant setting. The ability to genetically engineer lymphocyte subsets has the further potential to improve the natural immune response, correct impaired immunity, and redirect T cells to an antitumor effector response. This chapter focuses on various applications of ACT for cancer immunotherapy, and we discuss some of the latest progress and hurdles in translating these technologies to the clinic.

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