Ex Vivo-Activated MHC-Unrestricted Immune Effectors for Cancer Adoptive Immunotherapy

ISSN: 1875-5992 (Online)
ISSN: 1871-5206 (Print)

Volume 17, 14 Issues, 2017

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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Formerly: Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents

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Michelle Prudhomme
Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand
Université Clermont Auvergne

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Ex Vivo-Activated MHC-Unrestricted Immune Effectors for Cancer Adoptive Immunotherapy

Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 14(2): 211-222.

Author(s): Valeria Leuci, Giulia Mesiano, Loretta Gammaitoni, Maja Todorovic, Lidia Giraudo, Fabrizio Carnevale-Schianca, Massimo Aglietta and Dario Sangiolo.

Affiliation: Laboratory of Cell Therapy, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Provinciale 142 - 10060 Candiolo, Torino Italy.


Adoptive immunotherapy is considered a promising strategy for the treatment of metastatic tumors and current research efforts are directed to define the optimal approach and facilitate the transferability from preclinical to clinical settings. Among several approaches it is possible to schematically distinguish strategies based on either MHC-restricted or MHC-unrestricted immune effectors. The first are mainly based on the infusion of tumor-specific T lymphocytes capable of recognizing determined MHC-restricted tumor associated antigens (TAA) through their T cell receptor. MHC-unrestricted approaches do not target specific tumor associated antigens and are mainly mediated by effectors of the innate immune system, like natural killer (NK) cells or NKT cells, first barrier against pathogens and tumorigenesis processes, or by ex vivo activated lymphocytes like cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells. MHC-unrestricted effectors are usually more abundant than TAA-specific precursors and easier to expand. Furthermore their activity is not restricted to precise HLAhaplotypes, not limited to a single tumor histotype and could overcome downregulation of MHC molecules operated by tumor cells as immune escape mechanism.

In this review we will discuss the main cancer immunotherapy strategies based on MHC-unrestricted immune effectors. The topic will be approached from the angle of ex vivo expansion protocols in clinical prospective, as well as potential approaches to favorably modulate their functions.


Adoptive immunotherapy, MHC-unrestricted activity, NK, CIK, NKT.

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Article Details

Volume: 14
Issue Number: 2
First Page: 211
Last Page: 222
Page Count: 12
DOI: 10.2174/18715206113136660371
Price: $58
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