Clinical Immunotherapeutics

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 13–22 | Cite as

Adoptive Immunotherapy of Cancer

Current Concepts and Future Prospects
  • Theresa L. Whiteside
  • Ronald B. Herberman
Disease Treatment Review


Cellular adoptive therapy (CAT) of cancer has begun to evolve as a new modality of treatment for metastatic disease. The initial enthusiasm for CAT has now abated in view of the evidence that only about one-third of patients with metastatic melanoma or renal cell carcinoma treated with CAT have achieved objective responses. Nevertheless, studies from animal models of tumour metastasis, and more recent clinical trials in which selected populations of activated lymphocytes instead of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells are being used for therapy, indicate that CAT may be very effective in eliminating established metastases and inducing long term responses in patients unresponsive to conventional therapies.

The mechanisms responsible for the antitumour effects of adoptively transferred subpopulations of effector cells are not understood and are under intense investigation at this time. Future prospects for improvements in efficacy of CAT include: (a) transfer of genetically modified effector cells; (b) use of cells armed with tumour antigen—specific monoclonal antibodies; and (c) combination therapy with CAT and adjuvant use of chemotherapeutic agents.


Renal Cell Carcinoma Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Adis International Limited Effector Cell Adoptive Immunotherapy 
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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa L. Whiteside
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronald B. Herberman
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Department of Pathology, W1041 Biomedical Science TowerUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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