Potential Role of Natural Killer Cell Receptor-Expressing Cells in Immunotherapy for Leukemia

Progress in hematology

DOI: 10.1532/IJH97.04152

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, J., Asaka, M. & Imamura, M. Int J Hematol (2005) 81: 6. doi:10.1532/IJH97.04152


Natural killer cell receptor (NKR)-expressing cells have cytolytic activity against leukemic cells, and solid tumor cells escape from T-cell recognition because of the low expression levels of class I HLA molecules in both allogeneic and autologous settings. This characteristic feature of NK cell recognition of target cells in contrast with that of T-cells provides a strategy to overcome tolerance in the tumor-bearing host. Furthermore, inhibitory NKR-expressing cells may have cytolytic activity and immunoregulatory functions. Several methods can be used to expand NKR-expressing cells for adoptive immunotherapy for leukemia and other malignant diseases.We review recent developments in the biology and clinical application of NKR-expressing cells, such as NK cells, lymphokine-activated killer cells, cytokine-induced killer cells, NKT cells, and other NKR-expressing cells.

Key words

NK cell receptorGVHDGVLCTLImmunotherapy

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Hematology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junji Tanaka
    • 1
  • Masahiro Asaka
    • 2
  • Masahiro Imamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Hematology and OncologyHokkaido University Graduate School of MedicineSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Third Department of Internal MedicineHokkaido University Graduate School of MedicineSapporoJapan