Improving T cell therapy for cancer

Aaron E. Foster, Cliona M. Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T cells has been most effective in treating cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferative disease (LPD). Both of these diseases develop only during periods of acute immune suppression, and both involve highly immunogenic infected cells, and thus respond well to T cell therapies. In contrast, tumours that develop in the presence of a competent immune system evolve complex immune evasion strategies to avoid and subvert T cell-mediated killing. Therefore, even T cells that display potent cytotoxic activity against tumour cells in vitro may not be effective in vivo without altering the tumour:T cell balance in favour of the T cell. This review discusses several new areas of research aimed at improving adoptive T cell therapy for the treatment of cancer, including the genetic modification of antigen-specific T cells to allow them to perform better in vivo, and conditioning the host to improve in vivo expansion and function of transferred cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Adoptive immunotherapy
  • Cancer
  • Gene therapy
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Immunology


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