Adoptive cell transfer therapy has developed into a potent and effective treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. Current application of this therapy relies on the ex vivo generation of highly active, highly avid tumor-reactive lymphocyte cultures from endogenous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes or on the genetic engineering of cells using antigen receptor genes to express de novo tumor antigen recognition. When autologous anti-tumor lymphocyte cultures are administered to patients with high-dose interleukin (IL)-2 following a lymphodepleting conditioning regimen, the cells can expand in vivo, traffic to tumor, and mediate tumor regression and durable objective clinical responses. Current investigation seeks to improve the methods for generating and administering the lymphocyte cultures, and future clinical trials aim to improve durable response rates and extend the patient populations that are candidates for treatment.
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