Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 278093, 23 pages
Review Article

Immunotherapy of Malignant Disease Using Chimeric Antigen Receptor Engrafted T Cells

John Maher1,2,3

1CAR Mechanics Group, Department of Research Oncology, King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, King’s College London, Guy’s Hospital Campus, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK
2Department of Immunology, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, Barnet, Hertfordshire EN5 3DJ, UK
3Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK

Received 23 October 2012; Accepted 14 November 2012

Academic Editors: D. E. Bassi and J. Tovari

Copyright © 2012 John Maher. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chimeric antigen receptor- (CAR-) based immunotherapy has been under development for almost 25 years, over which period it has progressed from a new but cumbersome technology to an emerging therapeutic modality for malignant disease. The approach involves the genetic engineering of fusion receptors (CARs) that couple the HLA-independent binding of cell surface target molecules to the delivery of a tailored activating signal to host immune cells. Engineered CARs are delivered most commonly to peripheral blood T cells using a range of vector systems, most commonly integrating viral vectors. Preclinical refinement of this approach has proceeded over several years to the point that clinical testing is now being undertaken at several centres, using increasingly sophisticated and therapeutically successful genetic payloads. This paper considers several aspects of the pre-clinical and clinical development of CAR-based immunotherapy and how this technology is acquiring an increasing niche in the treatment of both solid and haematological malignancies.