Natural killer cells in cancer biology and therapy.

Publication date: Aug 06, 2020

The tumor microenvironment is highly complex, and immune escape is currently considered an important hallmark of cancer, largely contributing to tumor progression and metastasis. Named for their capability of killing target cells autonomously, natural killer (NK) cells serve as the main effector cells toward cancer in innate immunity and are highly heterogeneous in the microenvironment. Most current treatment options harnessing the tumor microenvironment focus on T cell-immunity, either by promoting activating signals or suppressing inhibitory ones. The limited success achieved by T cell immunotherapy highlights the importance of developing new-generation immunotherapeutics, for example utilizing previously ignored NK cells. Although tumors also evolve to resist NK cell-induced cytotoxicity, cytokine supplement, blockade of suppressive molecules and genetic engineering of NK cells may overcome such resistance with great promise in both solid and hematological malignancies. In this review, we summarized the fundamental characteristics and recent advances of NK cells within tumor immunometabolic microenvironment, and discussed potential application and limitations of emerging NK cell-based therapeutic strategies in the era of presicion medicine.

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Concepts Keywords
Blockade Solid hematological malignancies
Cancer Cells tumors
Cytokine Important hallmark cancer
Cytotoxicity Immunotherapy
Genetic Engineering Medical specialties
Hematological Malignancies Medicine
Immunity Health
Immunotherapeutics Immunology
Immunotherapy Immune system
Innate Immunity Tumor
Medicine Tumor microenvironment
Metastasis Natural killer cell
Microenvironment Cell-mediated immunity
Natural Killer T cells
Tumor Cancer immunotherapy
Genetic engineering


Type Source Name
disease MESH cancer
disease MESH metastasis
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad
disease MESH hematological malignancies
pathway REACTOME Immune System
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH death
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
disease MESH Development
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK L-Tyrosine
disease MESH infection
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK Clarithromycin
drug DRUGBANK Phosphatidyl serine
drug DRUGBANK Methyl isocyanate
disease MESH leukemia
drug DRUGBANK Acetylsalicylic acid
pathway KEGG Apoptosis
drug DRUGBANK Cycloserine
drug DRUGBANK Dinoprostone
disease MESH hepatocellular carcinoma
pathway KEGG Hepatocellular carcinoma
disease MESH separated
drug DRUGBANK Phenobarbital
drug DRUGBANK Ilex paraguariensis leaf
disease MESH myeloid leukemia
disease MESH lymphocytic leukemia
disease MESH lymphoma
disease MESH recurrence
disease MESH tumorigenesis
disease MESH tumor immune escape
drug DRUGBANK Muplestim
disease MESH carcinoma
disease MESH risk factor
disease MESH rectal cancer
disease MESH melanoma
pathway KEGG Melanoma
disease MESH tic
disease MESH anemia
disease MESH lymphocytic choriomeningitis
disease MESH high blood pressure
disease MESH lifestyle
disease MESH obesity
drug DRUGBANK Dextrose unspecified form
pathway KEGG Metabolic pathways
disease MESH inflammation
drug DRUGBANK Glutamic Acid
drug DRUGBANK Glycine
pathway KEGG Oxidative phosphorylation
disease MESH Hypercholesterolemia
drug DRUGBANK Cholesterol
drug DRUGBANK L-Glutamine
drug DRUGBANK L-Arginine
drug DRUGBANK Phenindione
disease MESH hypoxia
drug DRUGBANK Cetuximab
drug DRUGBANK Nivolumab
disease MESH immuno
drug DRUGBANK Doxorubicin
drug DRUGBANK Alemtuzumab
drug DRUGBANK Obinutuzumab
drug DRUGBANK Rituximab
drug DRUGBANK Avelumab
drug DRUGBANK Lenalidomide
drug DRUGBANK Lirilumab
drug DRUGBANK Monalizumab
drug DRUGBANK Durvalumab
disease MESH sarcomas
disease MESH medulloblastoma
drug DRUGBANK Ipilimumab
drug DRUGBANK Pembrolizumab
disease MESH ependymoma
drug DRUGBANK Fludarabine
drug DRUGBANK Cyclophosphamide
disease MESH Hodgkin lymphoma
disease MESH renal cancer
disease MESH lung cancer
disease MESH lymphoproliferative disorders
pathway KEGG Acute myeloid leukemia
disease MESH multiple myeloma
disease MESH squamous carcinoma
disease MESH myelodysplastic syndromes
disease MESH lymphoblastic leukemia
drug DRUGBANK Tocilizumab
drug DRUGBANK Anakinra
disease MESH acute myelogenous leukemia
disease MESH suicide
drug DRUGBANK Sirolimus
drug DRUGBANK Everolimus
pathway KEGG mTOR signaling pathway
disease MESH breast cancer
pathway KEGG Breast cancer
drug DRUGBANK Indoximod
drug DRUGBANK Selenium
disease MESH Estrogen
disease MESH Influenza
disease MESH herpes zoster
disease MESH meningoencephalitis
drug DRUGBANK Ferrous sulfate anhydrous
drug DRUGBANK Sulforaphane
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
drug DRUGBANK Carbazochrome
disease MESH liver cancer
drug DRUGBANK Ibuprofen
disease MESH Allergy
drug DRUGBANK Methylergometrine
disease MESH Insulin Resistance
pathway KEGG Insulin resistance
disease MESH African swine fever
disease MESH virus infection
disease MESH colorectal carcinoma
drug DRUGBANK Carboxyamidotriazole
pathway KEGG Colorectal cancer
drug DRUGBANK Imatinib
disease MESH prostate cancer
pathway KEGG Prostate cancer
disease MESH bladder cancer
pathway KEGG Bladder cancer
drug DRUGBANK Acetylcysteine
disease MESH Lung Adenocarcinoma
drug DRUGBANK Adenosine
drug DRUGBANK Guanosine
disease MESH Gastric Cancer
pathway KEGG Gastric cancer
disease MESH aplastic anemia
drug DRUGBANK Lactic Acid
disease MESH colon cancer
drug DRUGBANK Tolbutamide
disease MESH Syndr
disease MESH pathology
drug DRUGBANK Platinum
drug DRUGBANK Trastuzumab
drug DRUGBANK Tisagenlecleucel
disease MESH B Cell Lymphoma
disease MESH cytokine release syndrome
drug DRUGBANK Daratumumab
drug DRUGBANK Capecitabine

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