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    Chimeric antigen receptor-T (CAR-T) cell therapy is a promising frontier of immunoengineering and cancer immunotherapy. Methods that detect, quantify, track, and visualize the CAR, have catalyzed the rapid advancement of CAR-T cell therapy from preclinical models to clinical adoption. For instance, CAR-staining/labeling agents have enabled flow cytometry analysis, imaging applications, cell sorting, and high-dimensional clinical profiling. Molecular assays, such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction, integration site analysis, and RNA-sequencing, have characterized CAR transduction, expression, and in vivo CAR-T cell expansion kinetics. In vitro visualization methods, including confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, have captured the molecular details underlying CAR immunological synapse formation, signaling, and cytotoxicity. In vivo tracking methods, including two-photon microscopy, bioluminescence imaging, and positron emission tomography scanning, have monitored CAR-T cell biodistribution across blood, tissue, and tumor. Here, we review the plethora of CAR detection methods, which can operate at the genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and organismal levels. For each method, we discuss: (1) what it measures; (2) how it works; (3) its scientific and clinical importance; (4) relevant examples of its use; (5) specific protocols for CAR detection; and (6) its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we consider current scientific and clinical needs in order to provide future perspectives for improved CAR detection. Copyright © 2020 Hu and Huang.


    Yifei Hu, Jun Huang. The Chimeric Antigen Receptor Detection Toolkit. Frontiers in immunology. 2020;11:1770

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    PMID: 32849635

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