Principles of adoptive T cell cancer therapy

J Clin Invest. 2007 May;117(5):1204-12. doi: 10.1172/JCI31446.


The transfusion of T cells, also called adoptive T cell therapy, is an effective treatment for viral infections and has induced regression of cancer in early-stage clinical trials. However, recent advances in cellular immunology and tumor biology are guiding new approaches to adoptive T cell therapy. For example, use of engineered T cells is being tested as a strategy to improve the functions of effector and memory T cells, and manipulation of the host to overcome immunotoxic effects in the tumor microenvironment has led to promising results in early-stage clinical trials. Challenges that face the field and must be addressed before adoptive T cell therapy can be translated into routine clinical practice are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*