Adoptive therapy with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-redirected T cells showed spectacular efficacy in the treatment of leukaemia in recent early phase trials. Patient's T cells were ex vivo genetically engineered with a CAR, amplified and re-administered to the patient. While T cells mediating the primary response were predominantly of young effector and central memory phenotype, repetitive antigen engagement irreversible triggers T cell maturation leaving late memory cells with the KLRG-1+ CD57+ CD7- CCR7- phenotype in the long-term. These cells preferentially accumulate in the periphery, are hypo-responsive upon TCR engagement and prone to activation-induced cell death. A recent report indicates that those T cells can be rescued by CAR provided CD28 and OX40 (CD134) stimulation. We discuss the strategy with respect to prolong the anti-tumour response and to improve the over-all efficacy of adoptive cell therapy
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