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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Oct;57(10):1541-52. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0492-7. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

NK cell-mediated targeting of human cancer and possibilities for new means of immunotherapy.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.


Insights into the molecular basis for natural killer (NK) cell recognition of human cancer have been obtained in recent years. Here, we review current knowledge on the molecular specificity and function of human NK cells. Evidence for NK cell targeting of human tumors is provided and new strategies for NK cell-based immunotherapy against human cancer are discussed. Based on current knowledge, we foresee a development where more cancers may be subject to treatment with drugs or other immunomodulatory agents affecting NK cells, either directly or indirectly. We also envisage a possibility that certain forms of cancers may be subject to treatment with adoptively transferred NK cells, either alone or in combination with other therapeutic interventions.

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