The rise of allogeneic Natural killer cells as a platform for cancer immunotherapy: Recent innovations and future developments

John P. Veluchamy, Nina Kok, Hans J. van der Vliet, Henk M.W. Verheul, Tanja D. de Gruijl, Jan Spanholtz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


Natural killer (NK) cells are critical immune effector cells in the fight against cancer. As NK cells in cancer patients are highly dysfunctional and reduced in number, adoptive transfer of large numbers of cytolytic NK cells and their potential to induce relevant antitumor responses are widely explored in cancer immunotherapy. Early studies from autologous NK cells have failed to demonstrate significant clinical benefit. In this review, the clinical benefits of adoptively transferred allogeneic NK cells in a transplant and non-transplant setting are compared and discussed in the context of relevant NK cell platforms that are being developed and optimized by various biotech industries with a special focus on augmenting NK cell functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number631
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017


  • Adoptive natural killer cell therapy
  • Allogeneic natural killer cells
  • Autologous natural killer cells
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Natural killer cell biotech companies
  • Natural killer cell combinatorial studies

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