Immune-based therapeutics for pediatric cancer

Christian M. Capitini, Crystal L. MacKall, Alan S. Wayne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Importance of the field: Although most children with cancer are cured, there remain significant limitations of standard treatment, most notably chemotherapy resistance and non-specific toxicities. Novel immune-based therapies that target pediatric malignancies offer attractive adjuncts and/or alternatives to commonly employed cytotoxic regimens of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Elucidation of the principles of tumor biology and the development of novel laboratory technologies over the last decade have led to substantial progress in bringing immunotherapies to the bedside. Areas covered in this review: Current immunotherapeutic clinical trials in pediatric oncology and the science behind their development are reviewed. What the reader will gain: Most of the immune-based therapies studied to date have been well tolerated, and some have shown promise in the setting of refractory or high-risk malignancies, demonstrating that immunotherapy has the potential to overcome resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Take home message: Some immune-based therapies, such as ch14.18 and MTP-PE, have already been proven effective in phase III randomized trials. Further studies are needed to optimize and integrate other therapies into standard regimens, and to test them in randomized trials for patients with childhood cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Childhood
  • Chimeric antigen receptors
  • Cytokines
  • Immunotherapy
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Natural killer cells
  • Pediatric
  • Toll-like receptors
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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