The genetic modification and characterization of T-cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) allow functionally distinct T-cell subsets to recognize specific tumor cells. The incorporation of costimulatory molecules or cytokines can enable engineered T-cells to eliminate tumor cells. CARs are generated by fusing the antigen-binding region of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) or other ligand to membrane-spanning and intracellular-signaling domains. They have recently shown clinical benefit in patients treated with CD19-directed autologous T-cells. Recent successes suggest that the modification of T-cells with CARs could be a powerful approach for developing safe and effective cancer therapeutics. Here, we briefly review early studies, consider strategies to improve the therapeutic potential and safety, and discuss the challenges and future prospects for CAR T-cells in cancer therapy.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.