CAR T cell therapies for diffuse midline glioma

Trends Cancer. 2023 Oct;9(10):791-804. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2023.07.007. Epub 2023 Aug 3.


Diffuse midline glioma (DMG) is a fatal pediatric cancer of the central nervous system (CNS). The location and infiltrative nature of DMG prevents surgical resection and the benefits of palliative radiotherapy are temporary; median overall survival (OS) is 9-11 months. The tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) is 'cold', and has a dominant immunosuppressive myeloid compartment with low levels of infiltrating lymphocytes and proinflammatory molecules. Because survival statistics have been stagnant for many decades, and therapies targeting the unique biology of DMG are urgently needed, this has prompted the clinical assessment of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies in this setting. We highlight the current landscape of CAR T cell therapy for DMG, the role the TIME may play in the response, and strategies to overcome treatment obstacles.

Keywords: CNS tumors; chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy; diffuse midline glioma; locoregional infusion; tumor immune microenvironment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System
  • Child
  • Glioma* / genetics
  • Glioma* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Tumor Microenvironment