CAR therapy for hematological cancers: can success seen in the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia be applied to other hematological malignancies?

Immunotherapy. 2015;7(5):545-61. doi: 10.2217/imt.15.6.


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has recently come into the spotlight due to impressive results in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. By targeting CD19, a marker expressed most B-cell tumors, as well as normal B cells, CAR T-cell therapy has been investigated as a treatment strategy for B-cell leukemia and lymphoma. This review will discuss the successes of this therapy for the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the challenges to this therapeutic strategy. We will also discuss application of CAR T-cell therapy to chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other B-cell malignancies including a follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, as well as acute and plasma cell malignancies.

Keywords: B-cell malignancies; CAR; T cells; autologous T-cell infusion; chimeric antigen receptor; immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Neoplasms, Plasma Cell / immunology
  • Neoplasms, Plasma Cell / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Plasma Cell / therapy*
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins