CAR T cell therapy and the tumor microenvironment: Current challenges and opportunities

Lionel A. Kankeu Fonkoua, Olivia Sirpilla, Reona Sakemura, Elizabeth L. Siegler, Saad S. Kenderian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has demonstrated remarkable outcomes in individuals with hematological malignancies, but its success has been hindered by barriers intrinsic to the tumor microenvironment (TME), particularly for solid tumors, where it has yet to make its mark. In this article, we provide an updated review and future perspectives on features of the TME that represent barriers to CART cell therapy efficacy, including competition for metabolic fuels, physical barriers to infiltration, and immunosuppressive factors. We then discuss novel and promising strategies to overcome these obstacles that are in preclinical development or under clinical investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy - Oncolytics
StatePublished - Jun 16 2022


  • chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy
  • immunosuppression
  • metabolic fuels
  • physical barriers
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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