Natural Killer Cells in Cancer and Cancer Immunotherapy

Hans Raskov*, Adile Orhan, Ali Salanti, Shruti Gaggar, Ismail Gögenur

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


The detection and killing of neoplastic cells require coordination of a variety of antitumor effector cells. Natural killer (NK) cells of the innate immune system are at the forefront of the body's defense systems and evidence suggests that the infiltration and cytotoxicity of NK cells in the cancer tissue influence treatment efficacy and survival. As powerful effectors in the anticancer immune response, NK cells rapidly recognize and kill transformed cells with little reactivity against healthy self-tissues, which highlights their potential role in cancer immunotherapy. Modern immunotherapeutic approaches include immune checkpoint inhibitors to revitalize dysfunctional T cells and adoptive cell transfer using CD8+ T cells with chimeric antigen receptors to enhance their functionality. However, treatment responses may be short-lived and risk of discontinuation due to adverse effects necessitates the development of safer immuno-oncologic therapies with improved outcomes. To this end, novel combinatorial interventions using T cells and NK cells and strategies for overcoming associated challenges are currently being investigated. This review summarizes the advances in the research on NK cells in cancer and cancer immunotherapy and discusses the possible implications for future cancer treatment.

Sider (fra-til)233-242
Antal sider10
TidsskriftCancer Letters
Tidlig onlinedato22 jul. 2021
StatusUdgivet - 1 nov. 2021

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