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Oncoimmunology. 2015 Nov 11;5(4):e1115178. eCollection 2016 Apr.

Advances in clinical NK cell studies: Donor selection, manufacturing and quality control.

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Institute of Cellular Therapeutics, IFB-Tx, Hannover Medical School , Hannover, Germany.
Diagnostic Hematology, University Hospital Basel , Basel, Switzerland.
Glycostem Therapeutics , Oss, the Netherlands.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Pediatrics , Houston, TX, USA.
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Department of Hematology, Royal Free Hospital, UCL Medical School , London, UK.
Hematology and Oncology, Benjamin Franklin faculty of Charité , Berlin, Germany.
NantKwest Inc., Research & Development , Cambridge, MA, USA.
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Institute of Hematology "L. and A. Seràgnoli", Berlin, University of Bologna , Italy.
Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Memphis, TN, USA.
Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm Sweden; Cell therapies institute, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; Hematology Center, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.


Natural killer (NK) cells are increasingly used in clinical studies in order to treat patients with various malignancies. The following review summarizes platform lectures and 2013-2015 consortium meetings on manufacturing and clinical use of NK cells in Europe and United States. A broad overview of recent pre-clinical and clinical results in NK cell therapies is provided based on unstimulated, cytokine-activated, as well as genetically engineered NK cells using chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). Differences in donor selection, manufacturing and quality control of NK cells for cancer immunotherapies are described and basic recommendations are outlined for harmonization in future NK cell studies.


Clinical NK cell studies; ex vivo expansion; manufacturing of NK cell products; quality control

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