Effect of frequently used chemotherapeutic drugs on cytotoxic activity of human cytotoxic T-lymphocytes

J Immunother. 2008 Apr;31(3):283-93. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181628b76.


Tumors are considered to be possible targets of immunotherapy using stimulated and expanded cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). It is important to consider the drug-induced effects when chemotherapeutic regimens and CTL-mediated immunotherapy is planned to be used in parallel. In this study, we characterized the effect of 29 frequently used chemotherapeutic agents on the cytotoxic activity of autologous and allogeneic CTLs. We found that treatment of CTLs with the following drugs: docetaxel, vincristine, chlorambucil, mitomycin C, oxaliplatin, doxorubicin, and bleomycin effectively inhibited CTL-mediated killing, without affecting their viability. On the other hand, the following drugs enhanced or permitted efficient CTL-mediated killing in vitro at concentrations comparable with the maximally achieved therapeutic concentration in vivo in humans: daunorubicin, prednisolone, vinorelbine, cisplatin, methotrexate, hydroxyurea, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide, topotecan, epirubicin, fluorouracil, carboplatin, asparaginase, 6-mercaptopurine, and bortezomib. Our results could potentially be used in the future to design new CTL-based adjuvant immunotherapy protocols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents