Adoptive-cell-transfer therapy for the treatment of patients with cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Sep;3(9):666-75. doi: 10.1038/nrc1167.


Adoptive immunotherapy--the isolation of antigen-specific cells, their ex vivo expansion and activation, and subsequent autologous administration--is a promising approach to inducing antitumour immune responses. The molecular identification of tumour antigens and the ability to monitor the persistence and transport of transferred cells has provided new insights into the mechanisms of tumour immunotherapy. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of cell-transfer therapies for the treatment of patients with selected metastatic cancers. These studies provide a blueprint for the wider application of adoptive-cell-transfer therapy, and emphasize the requirement for in vivo persistence of the cells for therapeutic efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy


  • Antigens, Neoplasm