Adoptive cellular therapy

Semin Oncol. 2000 Apr;27(2):221-33.


We provide a current review of adoptive cellular therapy in the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. A comprehensive literature review of peer-reviewed articles on the development and use of adoptive cellular immunotherapy was performed. Renal cell carcinoma is a highly immunogenic tumor that has proven resistant to standard cytotoxic chemotherapy, but has shown reproducible response to immune-based therapy. In an effort to improve responses, a variety of adoptive cellular strategies have been devised and tested in the setting of metastatic disease. Among the techniques developed, the use of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, autolymphocyte therapy (ALT), and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) have been the best studied. While further trials are ongoing, thus far, these approaches have not consistently shown benefit in comparison to standard immune-based treatment with biologic response modifiers, most importantly, high-dose bolus interleukin-2 (IL-2). Future approaches, including the use of dendritic cells (DC) to facilitate the development of tumor vaccines, are encouraging. Advanced renal cell carcinoma continues to inspire research of promising new cellular immunotherapeutics. The experience with LAK, ALT, and TIL has greatly increased our understanding of tumor immunobiology, and has led to the ongoing development of new technology, including DC, vaccine, and antibody therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Neoplasms / immunology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / immunology
  • Leukapheresis
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Interleukin-2