Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy: 25years in the making

Blood Rev. 2016 May;30(3):157-67. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy of cancer is generating enormous enthusiasm. Twenty-five years after the concept was first proposed, major advances in molecular biology, virology, and good manufacturing practices (GMP)-grade cell production have transformed antibody-T cell chimeras from a scientific curiosity to a fact of life for academic cellular immunotherapy researchers and, increasingly, for patients. In this review, we explain the preclinical concept, outline how it has been translated to the clinic, and draw lessons from the first years of CAR T cell therapy for the practicing clinician.

Keywords: Adoptive immunotherapy; Chimeric antigen receptor T cells.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy* / methods
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy* / trends
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy* / methods
  • Immunotherapy* / trends
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / trends
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


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