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Oncotarget. 2017 Jan 31;8(5):8900-8909. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13051.

γδ T cells in cancer immunotherapy.

Author information

Clinical Medical Research Center, The Second Clinical College of Jinan University, Shenzhen People's Hospital, Shenzhen, China.
Research Institute of Shenzhen Hornetcorn biotechnology, Shenzhen, China.
Department of Pharmacology, Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, PR China.
Department of Pharmacology, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of translational Medicine of Tumor and Cancer Research Centre, School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.


γδ T cells are one of the three immune cell types that express antigen receptors. They contribute to lymphoid antitumor surveillance and bridge the gap between innate and adaptive immunity. γδ T cells have the capacity of secreting abundant cytokines and exerting potent cytotoxicity against a wide range of cancer cells. γδ T cells exhibit important roles in immune-surveillance and immune defense against tumors and have become attractive effector cells for cancer immunotherapy. γδ T cells mediate anti-tumor therapy mainly by secreting pro-apoptotic molecules and inflammatory cytokines, or through a TCR-dependent pathway. Recently, γδ T cells are making their way into clinical trials. Some clinical trials demonstrated that γδ T cell-based immunotherapy is well tolerated and efficient. Despite the advantages that could be exploited, there are obstacles have to be addressed for the development of γδ T cell immunotherapies. Future direction for immunotherapy using γδ T cells should focus on overcoming the side effects of γδ T cells and exploring better antigens that help stimulating γδ T cell expansion in vitro.


anti-tumor; cancer treatment; immunotherapy; γδ T cells

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