Bone Marrow Transplantation (2008) 41, 183–192; doi:10.1038/sj.bmt.1705930; published online 19 November 2007

Adoptive cellular immunotherapy for childhood malignancies

L J N Cooper1

1Department of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence: Dr LJN Cooper, Department of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit #907, Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail:

Received 18 September 2007; Revised 28 September 2007; Accepted 28 September 2007; Published online 19 November 2007.



Clinical trials have established that T cells have the ability to prevent and treat pathogens and tumors. This is perhaps best exemplified by engraftment of allogeneic T cells in the context of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), which for over the last 50 years remains one of the best and most robust examples of cell-based therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Yet, the approach to infuse T cells for treatment of cancer, in general, and pediatric tumors, in particular, generally remains on the sidelines of cancer therapy. This review outlines the current state-of-the-art and provides a rationale for undertaking adoptive immunotherapy trials with emphasis on childhood malignancies.


pediatric cancer, immunotherapy, T cells