The use of cellular immunotherapy has been limited to date mostly due to the poor immunogeneicity of tumor cells, based on a downregulation and/or dysfunction of HLA class I molecules that is essential for tumor cell recognition by the cellular immune system. The application of tumor specific monoclonal antibodies have given rise to major obstacles in the effective cytolysis of tumor cells by the humoral immune system because of their slow tumor penetration and short half-life in the circulation. In the past two decades, the engineered T cell therapy with tumor-specific chimeric immunoreceptor provides a novel way for redirecting T cells against tumor cells. The use of an antibody-derived scFv as the recognition unit of tumor-associated antigens enables the non-HLA-restricted specificity of the humoral arm of the immune system to be combined with the efficient homing, extravasation, and target rejection mediated by the cellular arm of the immune system. Recent advances in the understanding of the immune system have led to the point where the strategy for the engineered T cell therapy such as gene construction and/or cytokine support therapy might be critical.
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