Antigen choice in adoptive T-cell therapy of cancer

Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Apr;21(2):190-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2009.02.006. Epub 2009 Mar 16.


Immunotherapy of cancer through adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T-cells constitutes a more powerful strategy than attempts to mobilize the endogenous T-cell repertoire. Application of this technology in patients offers great opportunities towards a long-awaited breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy. However, recent findings in preclinical mouse models indicate that infusion of T-cells directed against tumor-associated auto-antigens can be associated with higher 'on target' toxicity than was anticipated on the basis of anti-tumor vaccination studies. Critical evaluation of candidate target antigens is required to ensure that T-cell receptor gene therapy will result in preferential attack of tumor cells in the absence of irreversible damage to vital somatic tissues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell