Published online Aug 26, 2015. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i7.1022
Peer-review started: September 6, 2014
First decision: December 17, 2014
Revised: May 3, 2015
Accepted: June 18, 2015
Article in press: June 19, 2015
Published online: August 26, 2015
Core tip: Leukemia cells ultimately escape to the immune system, due to various mechanisms such as limited availability of tumor specific T cells or down-regulation in major histocompatibility complex expression. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell technology redirects immune reactivity towards a broad variety of chosen antigens in a human leukocyte antigen-independent manner. Recent introduction of co-stimulatory domains in the CAR construct enhances significantly in vitro and in vivo expansion and persistence of these genetically modified T cells. First clinical trials, especially with anti-CD19 CAR T cells, report promising results in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.