Special Issue "Emerging Cellular Therapies: T Cells and Beyond"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stephen Todryk

Department of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; and Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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Interests: T cells; anti-microbial immunity; immune memory; biomarkers
Guest Editor
Dr. Agnieszka Jozwik

Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, London, UK
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Interests: CAR T cells; anti-tumour T cells
Guest Editor
Dr. Julian de Havilland

Newcastle Biomedicine Cellular Therapies Facility, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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Interests: cell manufacture; quality control
Guest Editor
Dr. Joanna Hester

Transplantation Research Immunology Group, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: regulatory T cells; transplantation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellular Therapies are fast becoming a viable option for the treatment of numerous diseases, due to the progress of technologies that enhance capabilities and reduce costs. They are typically used only when standard treatments have failed, since they are intensive in terms of skilled labour, reagents, and facilities; are often tailored or patient-specific; and, thus, remain expensive and limited in availability. This is in sharp contrast to off-the-shelf drugs. Therapies that have their basis in immune cells benefit from the potency of such cells, together with a mechanistic understanding of their often-complex action. Immunologists have always recognized the key role of T cells in health and disease. Their importance clinically is highlighted when they are absent or dysfunctional, such as in certain primary (genetic) or secondary (induced) immunodeficiencies, where viral infections predominate. Less obvious is their beneficial role as effector T cells in anti-cancer immunity, and their role as regulatory T cells in ameliorating inflammatory immune responses when not needed, such as in autoimmunity, transplantation, cancer therapy (graft vs host with haematopoietic stem cells), and allergy. Current T cell therapies involve manipulation of T cells in all these contexts, mainly ex-vivo, using a range of technological approaches, and are at various stages of clinical development. This Special Issue of Cells aims to highlight these approaches and applications, explain their technical and mechanistic bases, and update their current status and efficacy. Future paths that such “Cell Therapies” will take shall also be discussed.

Prof. Dr. Stephen Todryk
Dr. Agnieszka Jozwik
Dr. Julian de Havilland
Dr. Joanna Hester
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • T cell therapy
  • adoptive transfer
  • anti-viral immunity
  • transplantation
  • regulatory T cells
  • anti-tumour immunity

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Chemokine Receptors and Exercise to Tackle the Inadequacy of T Cell Homing to the Tumor Site
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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While cancer immune therapy has revolutionized the treatment of metastatic disease across a wide range of cancer diagnoses, a major limiting factor remains with regard to relying on adequate homing of anti-tumor effector cells to the tumor site both prior to and after
[...] Read more.
While cancer immune therapy has revolutionized the treatment of metastatic disease across a wide range of cancer diagnoses, a major limiting factor remains with regard to relying on adequate homing of anti-tumor effector cells to the tumor site both prior to and after therapy. Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of autologous T cells have improved the outlook of patients with metastatic melanoma. Prior to the approval of checkpoint inhibitors, this strategy was the most promising. However, while response rates of up to 50% have been reported, this strategy is still rather crude. Thus, improvements are needed and within reach. A hallmark of the developing tumor is the evasion of immune destruction. Achieved through the recruitment of immune suppressive cell subsets, upregulation of inhibitory receptors and the development of physical and chemical barriers (such as poor vascularization and hypoxia) leaves the microenvironment a hostile destination for anti-tumor T cells. In this paper, we review the emerging strategies of improving the homing of effector T cells (TILs, CARs, TCR engineered T cells, etc.) through genetic engineering with chemokine receptors matching the chemokines of the tumor microenvironment. While this strategy has proven successful in several preclinical models of cancer and the strategy has moved into the first phase I/II clinical trial in humans, most of these studies show a modest (doubling) increase in tumor infiltration of effector cells, which raises the question of whether road blocks must be tackled for efficient homing. We propose a role for physical exercise in modulating the tumor microenvironment and preparing the platform for infiltration of anti-tumor immune cells. In a time of personalized medicine and genetic engineering, this “old tool” may be a way to augment efficacy and the depth of response to immune therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Cellular Therapies: T Cells and Beyond)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The Promise of Cellular Therapies in Genitourinary Cancers: The Past, Present, and Future
Author: Mehmet Asim Bilen
Abstract: Genitourinary (GU) cancers are neoplasms of the genitourinary tract, which include renal, bladder, prostate, penile, testicular, and others urothelial in origin. Treatment for these cancers have traditionally been limited to surgery, radiation, and systemic treatment such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy, yet the treatment paradigm has been changing. Cellular therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor-T cells (CAR-T), stem cell transplantation, and other genomic interventions have shown great promise in the treatment of hematological malignancies. However, the results concerning the applicability of these measures to solid tumors like GU cancers have not yet been fully elucidated. In this Review, we aim to highlight existing and emerging cellular therapies, such as CAR-T, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9, stem cell transplantation, oncolytic virus and dendritic cell vaccinations, and other immune regulators currently employed by researchers to treat GU cancers. Even though these therapies warrant further expansion and investigation, they already show great promise in the treatment regimen of these malignancies.
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