Next Generation of Adoptive T Cell Therapy Using CRISPR/Cas9 Technology: Universal or Boosted?

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2115:407-417. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0290-4_22.


Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) using either chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)- or T cell receptor (TCR)-engineered lymphocytes has emerged as a promising strategy to treat cancer. However, this therapy is still facing enormous challenges such as poor quality of autologous T cells, T cell exhaustion, and the immune suppressive tumor microenvironments. Additionally, graft-versus-host disease is an issue that must be addressed to allow the use of allogeneic T cells. Strategies to overcome these therapeutic challenges using gene editing technology are now being developed. One strategy is to disrupt TCR and/or MHC expression in healthy donor T cells to generate T cells for universal use. Another strategy is to improve the quality of patient's T cells by eliminating either the expression of selected immune checkpoint receptors or negative regulators of TCR signaling and/or T-cell homeostasis. Here, we review the use of CRISPR-Cas9 platform in T cell engineering with a focus on the development of universal T cells and boosted autologous cells for next-generation ACT.

Keywords: Adoptive T cell therapy; CRISPR-Cas9; Chimeric antigen receptor; Gene editing; Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD); T cell receptor; Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation