NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,492 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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adoptive cell transfer
(uh-DOP-tiv sel TRANZ-fer)
A type of immunotherapy in which T cells (a type of immune cell) are given to a patient to help the body fight diseases, such as cancer. In cancer therapy, T cells are usually taken from the patient's own blood or tumor tissue, grown in large numbers in the laboratory, and then given back to the patient to help the immune system fight the cancer. Sometimes, the T cells are changed in the laboratory to make them better able to target the patient's cancer cells and kill them. Types of adoptive cell transfer include chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy. Adoptive cell transfer that uses T cells from a donor is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and some infections. Also called adoptive cell therapy, cellular adoptive immunotherapy, and T-cell transfer therapy.