Passive Immunotherapy: Adoptive Cell Therapy

Adoptive cell therapy is the exception on passive immunization for the treatment of cancers: it does not include antibody administration, but involves the passive transfer of (genetically-engineered) mature circulating immune cells, of which T-lymphocytes are the most widely used cell type. 

Directly go to different types of adoptive cell therapy strategies >>

How Adoptive Cell Therapy works

Active immunotherapies usually involve the following steps:

  1. First, immune cells are collected from the blood or tumor of the cancer patient.
  2. The collected cells are stimulated ex vivo or, if needed, they are first genetically engineered by introducing a gene of interest.
  3. The cells are grown to larger numbers in the laboratory
  4. Finally, they are then reintroduced into the same patient to attack and kill the tumor cells

Adoptive Cell Therapies for cancer treatment

In adoptive cell therapy circulating immune cells, whether or not genetically engineered, are used to reconstitute host immunity.

Ex vivo expanded and activated cells for immunotherapy Genetically Engineered T Cell-Mediated Cell Killing


Yang, F. et al. Adoptive Cellular Therapy (ACT) for Cancer Treatment.