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Dis Model Mech. 2015 Apr;8(4):337-50. doi: 10.1242/dmm.018036. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Genetically modified T cells in cancer therapy: opportunities and challenges.

Author information

1
Cell Therapy Catapult, 12th Floor Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT, UK.
2
Cell Therapy Catapult, 12th Floor Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT, UK. natalie.mount@ct.catapult.org.uk.

Abstract

Tumours use many strategies to evade the host immune response, including downregulation or weak immunogenicity of target antigens and creation of an immune-suppressive tumour environment. T cells play a key role in cell-mediated immunity and, recently, strategies to genetically modify T cells either through altering the specificity of the T cell receptor (TCR) or through introducing antibody-like recognition in chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have made substantial advances. The potential of these approaches has been demonstrated in particular by the successful use of genetically modified T cells to treat B cell haematological malignancies in clinical trials. This clinical success is reflected in the growing number of strategic partnerships in this area that have attracted a high level of investment and involve large pharmaceutical organisations. Although our understanding of the factors that influence the safety and efficacy of these therapies has increased, challenges for bringing genetically modified T-cell immunotherapy to many patients with different tumour types remain. These challenges range from the selection of antigen targets and dealing with regulatory and safety issues to successfully navigating the routes to commercial development. However, the encouraging clinical data, the progress in the scientific understanding of tumour immunology and the improvements in the manufacture of cell products are all advancing the clinical translation of these important cellular immunotherapies.

KEYWORDS:

CAR; Clinical trial; Efficacy; Gene modification; Immunotherapies; Manufacturing; Oncology; Regulation; Safety; T cell; TCR

PMID:
26035842
PMCID:
PMC4381333
DOI:
10.1242/dmm.018036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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