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Adoptive Cell Transfer Therapy for Malignant Gliomas

Eiichi Ishikawa, Shingo Takano, Tadao Ohno and Koji Tsuboi:
Adoptive Cell Transfer Therapy for Malignant Gliomas.
Glioma: Immunotherapeutic Approaches, edited by Ryuya Yamanaka, pp.109-120, Landes Bioscience and Springer Science & Business Media, Austin, 2012.

To date, various adoptive immunotherapies have been attempted for treatment of malignant gliomas using non-specific and/or specific effector cells. Since the late 1980s, with the development of rIL-2, the efficacy of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell therapy with or without rIL-2 for malignant gliomas had been tested with some modifications in therapeutic protocols. With advancements in technology, ex vivo expanded tumor specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) or those lineages were used in clinical trials with higher tumor response rates. In addition, combinations of those adoptive cell transfer using LAK cells, CTLs or natural killer (NK) cells with autologous tumor vaccine (ATV) therapy were attempted. Also, a strategy of high-dose (or lymphodepleting) chemotherapy followed by adoptive cell transfer has been drawing attentions recently. The most important role of these clinical studies using cell therapy was to prove that these ex vivo expanded effector cells could kill tumor cells in vivo. Although recent clinical results could demonstrate radiologic tumor shrinkage in a number of cases, cell transfer therapy alone has been utilized less frequently, because of the high cost of ex vivo cell expansion, the short duration of anti-tumor activity in vivo, and the recent shift of interest to vaccine immunotherapy.
Nevertheless, NK cell therapy using specific feeder cells or allergenic NK cell lines have potentials to be a good choice of treatment because of easy ex vivo expansion and their efficacy especially when combined with vaccine therapy as they are complementary to each other. Also, further studies are expected to clarify the efficacy of the high-dose chemotherapy followed by a large scale cell transfer therapy as a new therapeutic strategy for malignant gliomas.