A Metabolism Toolbox for CAR T Therapy

Front Oncol. 2019 Apr 30:9:322. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00322. eCollection 2019.


The adoptive transfer of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) through genetic engineering is one of the most promising new therapies for treating cancer patients. A robust CAR T cell-mediated anti-tumor response requires the coordination of nutrient and energy supplies with CAR T cell expansion and function. However, the high metabolic demands of tumor cells compromise the function of CAR T cells by competing for nutrients within the tumor microenvironment (TME). To substantially improve clinical outcomes of CAR T immunotherapy while treating solid tumors, it is essential to metabolically prepare CAR T cells to overcome the metabolic barriers imposed by the TME. In this review, we discuss a potential metabolism toolbox to improve the metabolic fitness of CAR T cells and maximize the efficacy of CAR T therapy.

Keywords: anti-tumor immune response; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR); immunotherapy; metabolism; tumor microenvironment (TME).

Publication types

  • Review