What is a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)?

Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are synthetically engineered recombinant receptors. In T cells, they represent a single receptor capable of facilitating both antigen binding/recognition and T cell activation.1 Incorporating both of these signals into a single receptor reduces the number of interactions required for T cell activation and prevents cancer cells from exploiting single signal-based T cell inactivation mechanisms.

1. M. Sadelain, et al., “The basic principles of chimeric antigen receptor design,” Cancer Discov 3(4):388-398, 2013.