Prospects for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) γδ T cells: A potential game changer for adoptive T cell cancer immunotherapy.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer letters, Volume 380, Issue 2, p.413-423 (2016)


Excitement is growing for therapies that harness the power of patients' immune systems to combat their diseases. One approach to immunotherapy involves engineering patients' own T cells to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to treat advanced cancers, particularly those refractory to conventional therapeutic agents. Although these engineered immune cells have made remarkable strides in the treatment of patients with certain hematologic malignancies, success with solid tumors has been limited, probably due to immunosuppressive mechanisms in the tumor niche. In nearly all studies to date, T cells bearing αβ receptors have been used to generate CAR T cells. In this review, we highlight biological characteristics of γδ T cells that are distinct from those of αβ T cells, including homing to epithelial and mucosal tissues and unique functions such as direct antigen recognition, lack of alloreactivity, and ability to present antigens. We offer our perspective that these features make γδ T cells promising for use in cellular therapy against several types of solid tumors, including melanoma and gastrointestinal cancers. Engineered γδ T cells should be considered as a new platform for adoptive T cell cancer therapy for mucosal tumors.