International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-013-1493-7 Pages: 123-131

Adoptive T-cell therapy for hematological malignancies using T cells gene-modified to express tumor antigen-specific receptors

1. Ehime University Hospital, First Department of Internal Medicine

Correspondence to:
Hiroshi Fujiwara
Tel: +81-89-9605296
Fax: +81-89-9605299
Email: yunarief@m.ehime-u.ac.jp

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Abstract

The functional properties of the adoptive immune response mediated by effector T lymphocytes are decisively regulated by their T-cell receptors (TCRs). Transfer of genes encoding target antigen-specific receptors enables polyclonal T cells to redirect toward cancer cells and virally infected cells expressing those defined antigens. Using this technology, a large population of redirected T cells displaying uniform therapeutic properties has been produced, powerfully advancing their clinical application as “cellular drugs” for adoptive immunotherapy against cancer. Clinically, anticancer adoptive immunotherapy using these genetically engineered T cells has an impressive and proven track record. Notable examples include the dramatic benefit of chimeric antigen receptor gene-modified T cells redirected towards B-cell lineage antigen CD19 in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and the impressive outcomes in the use of TCR gene-modified T cells redirected towards NY-ESO-1, a representative cancer-testis antigen, in patients with advanced melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma. In this review, we briefly overview the current status of this treatment option in the context of hematological malignancy, and discuss a number of challenges that still pose an obstacle to the full effectiveness of this strategy.

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