Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, which express a synthetic receptor engineered to target specific antigens, have demonstrated remarkable potential to treat haematological malignancies. However, their transition beyond haematological malignancy has so far been unsatisfactory. Here, we discuss recent challenges and improvements for CAR T cell therapy against solid tumors: Antigen heterogeneity which provides an effective escape mechanism against conventional mono-antigen-specific CAR T cells; and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment which provides physical and molecular barriers that respectively prevent T cell infiltration and drive T cell dysfunction and hypoproliferation. Further, we discuss the application of CAR T cells in infectious disease and autoimmunity.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; CAR-T cell; Cancer; Immunotherapy; Infectious disease.
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