"Hurdles race for CAR T-cell therapy in digestive tract cancer"

Immunol Rev. 2023 Nov;320(1):100-119. doi: 10.1111/imr.13273. Epub 2023 Sep 11.


Digestive tract cancers (DTC) belong to the most investigated family of tumors. The incidence, prevalence, and mortality rate of DTC remain high, especially for patients with pancreatic cancer. Even though immunotherapy such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have revolutionized the treatment of solid cancer types, ICI are still restricted to a very small group of patients and seem to be more efficacious in combination with chemotherapy. Cellular immunotherapy such as CAR T-cell therapy has entered clinical routine in hematological malignancies with outstanding results. There is growing interest on translating this kind of immunotherapy and success into patients with solid malignancies, such as DTC. This review attempts to describe the major advances in preclinical and clinical research with CAR T cells in DTC, considering the most relevant hurdles in each subtype of DTC.

Keywords: CAR T cell; adoptive cell therapy; clinical trials; digestive tract cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Neoplasms*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell