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Blood. 2008 Mar 15;111(6):3155-62. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-09-110312. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Autologous antitumor activity by NK cells expanded from myeloma patients using GMP-compliant components.

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Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy with poor outcome. The most promising therapeutic options currently available are combinations of transplantation, targeted pharmacotherapy, and immunotherapy. Cell-based immunotherapy after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation has been attempted, but with limited efficacy. Natural killer (NK) cells are interesting candidates for new means of immunotherapy; however, their potential clinical use in MM has not been extensively studied. Here, we explored the possibility of expanding NK cells from the peripheral blood of 7 newly diagnosed, untreated MM patients, using good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant components. After 20 days of culture, the number of NK cells from these patients had expanded on average 1600-fold. Moreover, expanded NK cells showed significant cytotoxicity against primary autologous MM cells, yet retained their tolerance against nonmalignant cells. Based on these findings, we propose that autologous NK cells expanded ex vivo deserve further attention as a possible new treatment modality for MM.

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