Among the novel biological therapeutics that will increase our ability to cure human cancer in years to come, adoptive cellular therapy is one of the most promising approaches. Although this is a complex and challenging field, there have been major advances in basic and translational research resulting in clinical trial activity that is now beginning to confirm this promise. The results obtained with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes therapy for melanoma, and virus-specific CTLs for EBV-associated malignancies are encouraging in terms of both ability to obtain clinical benefit and limited toxicity profile. In both settings, objective responses were obtained in at least 50% of treated patients. However, improvements to the clinical protocols, in terms of better patient selection and timing of administration, as well as cell product quality and availability, are clearly necessary to further ameliorate outcome, and logistical solutions are warranted to extend T-cell therapy beyond academic centers. In particular, there is a need to simplify cell production, in order to decrease costs and ease preparation. Promising implementations are underway, including harnessing the therapeutic potential of T cells transduced with TCRs directed against shared tumor antigens, and delineating strategies aimed at targeting immune evasion mechanisms exerted by tumor cells.
- solid tumors
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