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SOHO 2021 | NK cell therapy update

Nina Shah, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, CA, gives updates on research into the use of natural killer (NK) cell therapies. Dr Shah talks on the recent use of chimeric antigen receptor-engineered NK cells which hold the potential to become an off-the-shelf allogeneic product for the management of hematologic malignancies. This interview took place during the ninth annual meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO 2021) congress.

Transcript (edited for clarity)

We are really excited to think, not only about T cells, but also about NK cell therapy, which might be very effective as one of the cell therapy possibilities for multiple myeloma. NK cells are part of the innate immune system. And there’s several ways that they work. They try to work with antibodies, they do work with antibodies to yield antibody dependent cytotoxicity.

So the inherent NK cell populations are very important, but there’s also some cellular interaction that is not dependent on ADCC...

We are really excited to think, not only about T cells, but also about NK cell therapy, which might be very effective as one of the cell therapy possibilities for multiple myeloma. NK cells are part of the innate immune system. And there’s several ways that they work. They try to work with antibodies, they do work with antibodies to yield antibody dependent cytotoxicity.

So the inherent NK cell populations are very important, but there’s also some cellular interaction that is not dependent on ADCC. And this may be related to class one mismatch, or just the way that tumor proteins interact with NK receptors. And because of that, we’re excited to see if NK cells can be used as an off the shelf allogeneic product. And this has been studied by several groups. And now most recently the chimeric antigen receptor concept has been adopted by NK cells so something like Fate therapeutics is using chimeric antigen receptor NK cells that are from an iPS base of cells that they can manipulate to get a specific culture and actually engineer those cells specifically to be a little bit longer lasting. So we’re excited because this might be an off the shelf, very well tolerated allergenic and cellular therapy potential product.

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Disclosures

Nina Shah, MD, has received research funding from Celgene/BMS, Janssen, Bluebird Bio, Sutro Biopharma, Teneobio, Poseida, Nektar and Precision Biosciences; and has participated in an advisory role with GSK, Amgen, Indapta Therapeutics, Sanofi, CareDx, Kite, Karyopharm, Oncopeptides and CSL Behring.

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