Research ArticleCancer

Cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells exhibit enhanced responses against myeloid leukemia

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  21 Sep 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 357, pp. 357ra123
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2341

Natural killers of leukemia

Natural killer cells, part of the innate immune system, play a role in immune responses against exogenous pathogens as well as cancer. Recent studies have identified the existence of memory-like characteristics in some natural killer cells, and Romee et al. investigated these memory cells’ potential as a cancer therapy. The authors compared human natural killer memory cells to non-memory control cells, then demonstrated their effectiveness against myeloid leukemia models in vitro and in mice. They also performed a clinical trial in human patients with acute myeloid leukemia, where the natural killer memory-like cells again demonstrated antileukemia effects, some of which produced clinical remissions.