T cell therapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma

S. Basso, M. Zecca, P. Merli, A. Gurrado, S. Secondino, G. Quartuccio, I. Guido, P. Guerini, G. Ottonello, N. Zavras, R. Maccario, P. Pedrazzoli, P. Comoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among the novel biologic therapeutics that will increase our ability to cure human cancer in the years to come, T cell therapy is one of the most promising approaches. However, with the possible exception of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes therapy for melanoma, clinical trials of adoptive T-cell therapy for solid tumors have so far provided only clear proofs-of-principle to build on with further development. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated malignancies offer a unique model to develop T cell-based immune therapies, targeting viral antigens expressed on tumor cells. In the last two decades, EBV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) have been successfully employed for the prophylaxis and treatment of EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders in immuno-compromised hosts. More recently, this therapeutic approach has been applied to the setting of EBV-related solid tumors, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The results are encouraging, although further improvements to the clinical protocols are clearly neces-sary to increase anti-tumor activity. Promising implementations are underway, including harnessing the therapeutic potential of CTLs specific for subdominant EBV latent cycle epitopes, and delineating strategies aimed at targeting immune evasion mechanisms ex-erted by tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • T-cell therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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