Cancer Research Institute Media Room



Cellular Cancer Immunotherapy Development Evolves, Expands with New Technologies and Targets

Latest analysis from the Cancer Research Institute of the global landscape of cellular immunotherapies, including R&D trends and real-world usage, highlights key challenges including effective solid tumor targeting, manufacturing complexities, and commercial access to approved therapies

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all types of cancer, announced today the publication of its newest analysis of the global landscape of cellular immunotherapies, including R&D trends and real-world usage data. The report, published today in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, highlights trends in cellular immunotherapy for cancer including top modalities, targets, clinical development, and data from patients receiving CAR-T therapies in clinical practice. This report is an update to CRI’s prior cellular immunotherapy landscape analysis published in July 2021.

In this analysis, author Samik Upadhaya, PhD, assistant director of scientific affairs and member of the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator team at CRI, and colleagues provide an update on the overall status of the cellular cancer immunotherapy landscape as well as observations on key changes within the field including clinical practice. Findings include:

  • As of April 15, 2022, there were 2,756 active cell therapy agents in the global immuno-oncology pipeline, an increase of 36% over the 2021 landscape analysis that identified 2,031 such agents, but also a modest deceleration compared to 43% growth in the prior year
  • CAR-T therapeutics continue to dominate the cell therapy pipeline with growth of 24% since 2021
  • Development continues for non-T cell therapies including NK cell, dendritic cell, stem cell, and other myeloid-derived cell therapies, with the greatest growth in NK cell therapy, up 55% over the prior year
  • Clinical usage of cell therapy for cancer treatment is not keeping pace with regulatory approvals, with clinicians citing cost, travel, and supply limitations as key barriers to patient access

This latest report from the Cancer Research Institute, titled, “Landscape of cancer cell therapies: trends and real-world data,” was generated in collaboration with IQVIA, a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry, which provided the authors with access to IQVIA’s proprietary clinical trials database. The report is part of a suite of CRI-owned immuno-oncology landscape analyses that includes reports on cell therapy drug development and the broader IO landscape including clinical development of checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and oncolytic viruses in addition to bispecific antibodies and other immunomodulators.

To access an interactive dashboard of the Cancer Research Institute’s cancer cell immunotherapy report, visit the CRI website at

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is a highly rated U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 27 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $474 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to

About the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator
CRI’s clinical program, the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator is a unique academic-nonprofit-industry collaboration model that serves an as “incubator” that delivers multicenter clinical trials of promising new immunotherapy combinations. CRI’s venture philanthropy fund supports clinical trials within the program, which fosters a collaborative environment that enables scientists to advance their most ambitious research ideas by accelerating studies that one group or company could not do alone. To learn more, go to

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