Leveraging Natural Killer Cell Innate Immunity against Hematologic Malignancies: From Stem Cell Transplant to Adoptive Transfer and Beyond.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Numerous recent advancements in T-cell based immunotherapies have revolutionized the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In the race towards the first approved allogeneic cellular therapy product, there is growing interest in utilizing natural killer (NK) cells as a platform for off-the-shelf cellular therapies due to their scalable manufacturing potential, potent anti-tumor efficacy, and superior safety profile. Allogeneic NK cell therapies are now being actively explored in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and adoptive transfer. Increasingly sophisticated gene editing techniques have permitted the engineering of chimeric antigen receptors, ectopic cytokine expression, and tumor recognition signals to improve the overall cytotoxicity of NK cell therapies. Furthermore, the enhancement of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity has been achieved through the use of NK cell engagers and combination regimens with monoclonal antibodies that act synergistically with CD16-expressing NK cells. Finally, a greater understanding of NK cell biology and the mechanisms of resistance have allowed the preclinical development of NK checkpoint blockade and methods to modulate the tumor microenvironment, which have been evaluated in early phase trials. This review will discuss the recent clinical advancements in NK cell therapies in hematologic malignancies as well as promising avenues of future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lin, C; Horwitz, ME; Rein, LAM

Published Date

  • December 22, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 1

PubMed ID

  • 36613644

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9820370

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1422-0067

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/ijms24010204


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland