What is the history of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs)?

FAQs Research
Three generations of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have been developed thus far. First generation CARs were developed in the mid-1980s, and they could only facilitate T cell activation.1,2 Second generation CARs incorporated co-stimulatory domains to provide both activation and co-stimulation signals, resulting in greater potency. Third generation CARs contain multiple co-stimulatory domains, allowing even more complex signaling and offering potentially even greater potency.1

1. M. Sadelain, et al., “The basic principles of chimeric antigen receptor design,” Cancer Discov 3(4):388-398, 2013.
2. G. Dotti, et al., “Design and Development of Therapies using Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Expressing T cells,” Immunol Rev 257(1):10, 2014.