Breaking tolerance in cancer immunotherapy: time to ACT

Curr Opin Immunol. 2005 Apr;17(2):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2005.01.011.


The discovery of defined tumor antigens and their application in therapeutic cancer vaccines has not yet resulted in a successful therapy for cancer patients. Recent data suggest that this might be because most current clinical immunotherapeutic strategies rely on a tolerized tumor-reactive T-cell repertoire, resulting in a weak T-cell response that cannot induce tumor regression in the face of a multitude of normal and tumor-induced immunoregulatory mechanisms. New insights from animal models and clinical trials suggest a rationale for combination approaches in which the ineffective endogenous anti-tumor immune response is enhanced through a combination of adoptive cell transfer (ACT), specific vaccination and cytokine help for the reliable induction of a robust anti-tumor immune response and tumor regression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation