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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 326545, 16 pages
Review Article

A New Hope in Immunotherapy for Malignant Gliomas: Adoptive T Cell Transfer Therapy

1Department of Neurosurgery, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Dongsuro 56, Bupyeong-gu, Incheon 403-720, Republic of Korea
2Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Banpodaero 222, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea

Received 14 February 2014; Revised 2 May 2014; Accepted 18 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Bin Zhang

Copyright © 2014 Dong-Sup Chung et al. 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.


Immunotherapy emerged as a promising therapeutic approach to highly incurable malignant gliomas due to tumor-specific cytotoxicity, minimal side effect, and a durable antitumor effect by memory T cells. But, antitumor activities of endogenously activated T cells induced by immunotherapy such as vaccination are not sufficient to control tumors because tumor-specific antigens may be self-antigens and tumors have immune evasion mechanisms to avoid immune surveillance system of host. Although recent clinical results from vaccine strategy for malignant gliomas are encouraging, these trials have some limitations, particularly their failure to expand tumor antigen-specific T cells reproducibly and effectively. An alternative strategy to overcome these limitations is adoptive T cell transfer therapy, in which tumor-specific T cells are expanded ex vivo rapidly and then transferred to patients. Moreover, enhanced biologic functions of T cells generated by genetic engineering and modified immunosuppressive microenvironment of host by homeostatic T cell expansion and/or elimination of immunosuppressive cells and molecules can induce more potent antitumor T cell responses and make this strategy hold promise in promoting a patient response for malignant glioma treatment. Here we will review the past and current progresses and discuss a new hope in adoptive T cell therapy for malignant gliomas.