Spring 2018 Teasers
Drug Discovery World
Natural born KILLERS - how natural killer cell therapy will transform immunotherapy
By Dr Azusa Tanaka and Dr Michael Seiler

Regulatory approval of CAR-T cell therapies in 2017 placed the spotlight on immunotherapy approaches that use live cells to attack tumours – a major shift in oncology treatment.

Yet even this groundbreaking therapy has limitations, such as when patients already immuno-depressed from a first-line treatment do not have sufficient T-cells to modify or stimulate. For this reason, investigators are looking to NK (natural killer) cell therapy as the next frontier of immunotherapy.

In the fast-growing field of immunotherapy – using the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer – therapies based on the use of T-cells were the first to make major breakthroughs. T-cell-based therapy progressed from popular checkpoint inhibitors such as Keytruda and Opdivo, to newer approaches that use live cells to attack tumours.

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