Current Progress in CAR-T Cell Therapy for Solid Tumors

Int J Biol Sci. 2019 Sep 7;15(12):2548-2560. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.34213. eCollection 2019.


Cancer immunotherapy by chimeric antigen receptor-modified T (CAR-T) cells has shown exhilarative clinical efficacy for hematological malignancies. Recently two CAR-T cell based therapeutics, Kymriah (Tisagenlecleucel) and Yescarta (Axicabtagene ciloleucel) approved by US FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) are now used for treatment of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) respectively in the US. Despite the progresses made in treating hematological malignancies, challenges still remain for use of CAR-T cell therapy to treat solid tumors. In this landscape, most studies have primarily focused on improving CAR-T cells and overcoming the unfavorable effects of tumor microenvironment on solid tumors. To further understand the current status and trend for developing CAR-T cell based therapies for various solid tumors, this review emphasizes on CAR-T techniques, current obstacles, and strategies for application, as well as necessary companion diagnostics for treatment of solid tumors with CAR-T cells.

Keywords: CAR-T cells; CTC; chimeric antigen receptor; companion diagnostics; solid tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokine Release Syndrome
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / trends*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology


  • Cytokines