Stem cells-derived natural killer cells for cancer immunotherapy: current protocols, feasibility, and benefits of ex vivo generated natural killer cells in treatment of advanced solid tumors

PMID: 34218295
Journal: Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII (volume: , issue: , Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Jul;)
Published: 2021-07-04

Khodayari H, Khodayari S, Ebrahimi E, Hadjilooei F, Vesovic M, Mahmoodzadeh H, Saric T, Stücker W, Van Gool S, Hescheler J, Nayernia K


Nowadays, natural killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapy provides a practical therapeutic strategy for patients with advanced solid tumors (STs). This approach is adaptively conducted by the autologous and identical NK cells after in vitro expansion and overnight activation. However, the NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy has been faced with some fundamental and technical limitations. Moreover, the desirable outcomes of the NK cell therapy may not be achieved due to the complex tumor microenvironment by inhibition of intra-tumoral polarization and cytotoxicity of implanted NK cells. Currently, stem cells (SCs) technology provides a powerful opportunity to generate more effective and universal sources of the NK cells. Till now, several strategies have been developed to differentiate types of the pluripotent and adult SCs into the mature NK cells, with both feeder layer-dependent and/or feeder laye-free strategies. Higher cytokine production and intra-tumoral polarization capabilities as well as stronger anti-tumor properties are the main features of these SCs-derived NK cells. The present review article focuses on the principal barriers through the conventional NK cell immunotherapies for patients with advanced STs. It also provides a comprehensive resource of protocols regarding the generation of SCs-derived NK cells in an ex vivo condition.