Natural killer (NK) cells are important cytotoxic innate lymphocytes, which have various receptors for recognition of various ligands and can recognize and kill tumor cells rapidly via the secretion of cytolytic granules and .immunomodulatory cytokines

*Key advantage to using NK cells for cancer immunotherapy:

  • They have the ability to kill tumor cells without any prior sensitization or restriction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule expression.
  • They can be easily isolated and expanded ex vivo, which are suitable for use in adoptive or autologous immune cell therapies.
  • NK cell do not need the expression of a cancer specific antigen.
  • NK cells have a shorter life span than T cells, so there would be no concerns about over activity, and no need for suicide vectors.

5- NK cells potentially recognize cancer stem cells and professionally target them by inhibiting their proliferation and metastasis.

  • NK cells release various cytokines and chemokines that regulate the immune cells of adaptive immunity.

Areas of Research Using NK Cells:

The important effect of NK Cells in the elimination of cancer cells has been widely documented since the early 1980s. Researches about NK cell activity have been conducted worldwide in various fields such as cancer, viral diseases, autoimmune diseases, etc.