Potential of human γδ T lymphocytes for immunotherapy of cancer
Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
International Journal of Cancer
Volume 112, Issue 5, pages 727–732, 10 December 2004
How to Cite
Kabelitz, D., Wesch, D., Pitters, E. and Zöller, M. (2004), Potential of human γδ T lymphocytes for immunotherapy of cancer. Int. J. Cancer, 112: 727–732. doi: 10.1002/ijc.20445
- Issue online: 29 SEP 2004
- Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Received: 8 APR 2004
- γδ T lymphocytes;
- tumor defense
T lymphocytes are classified into 2 subsets based on their T-cell receptor (TCR) expression. The vast majority of T cells expresses an αβ TCR heterodimer. These αβ T cells recognize antigenic peptides presented by MHC class I (for CD8+ T cells) or MHC class II molecules (for CD4+ T cells). Concepts of cancer immunotherapy are mostly concerned with activation of these MHC-restricted αβ T cells. Until recently, a numerically small subset of T cells, which expresses an alternative TCR composed of a CD3-associated γδ heterodimer, has received far less attention as a potential agent in cancer therapy. These γδ T cells share with αβ T cells certain effector functions such as cytokine production and potent cytotoxic activity but recognize different sets of antigens, usually in a non-MHC-restricted fashion. Different subsets of human γδ T cells recognize stress-inducible MHC class I-related molecules frequently expressed on epithelial tumor cells or phosphorylated metabolites which can be generated by tumor cells. In line with this, many tumor cells are highly susceptible to γδ T-cell mediated lysis. In our article, we summarize the available evidence for a contribution of human γδ T cells in tumor defense and discuss potential strategies for the immunotherapy of tumors based on the endogenous activation and/or adoptive transfer of tumor-reactive γδ T lymphocytes. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.