Author(s): Bernatchez C, Radvanyi LG, Hwu P
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Abstract Metastatic melanoma is notoriously resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens. The prospect for newly diagnosed metastatic melanoma patients is grim, with a median survival of less than 1 year. Currently, the only therapies resulting in long-term disease-free intervals, high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) and more recently anti-CTLA-4, work through activation of the immune system. However, with both therapies the response rate is low. Advances in our knowledge of how the immune system interacts with cancer have led to a number of strategies to manipulate anti-tumor immune responses through immunotherapy. This review will focus on one avenue of immunotherapy using the transfer of T cells referred to as "adoptive cell therapy" (ACT), which involves the ex vivo expansion of autologous tumor-specific T cells to large numbers that are ultimately transferred back to the patient to boost anti-tumor immunity. This approach has been shown to be effective in the treatment of virally induced cancers, as well as metastatic melanoma. Recent successes with ACT hold promise and further emphasize the tremendous potential benefit of harnessing the immune system in the fight against cancer. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Semin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology