Adoptive cell therapy for cancer treatment

This perspective describes multiple types of commonly used adoptive cell therapy with an emphasis on their clinical progress. In addition, the challenges and opportunities of adoptive cell therapy for future clinical translation are described from the authors’ point of view.


Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) is a rapidly growing anti-cancer strategy that has shown promise in treating various cancer types. The concept of ACT involves activating patients’ own immune cells ex vivo and then transferring them back to the patients to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. Currently, the commonly used ACT includes tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), genetically engineered immune cells, and dendritic cells (DCs) vaccines. With the advancement of cell culture and genetic engineering techniques, ACT has been used in clinics to treat malignant hematological diseases and many new ACT-based regimens are in different stages of clinical trials. Here, representative ACT approaches are introduced and the opportunities and challenges for clinical translation of ACT are discussed.

Author list:

Shi Du, Jingyue Yan, Yonger Xue, Yichen Zhong, Yizhou Dong*

How to cite:

S. Du, J. Yan, Y. Xue, Y. Zhong, Y. Dong, Exploration 2023, 3, 20210058.