Off-the-shelf cell therapy with induced pluripotent stem cell-derived natural killer cells

  • Michelle L. Saetersmoen
  • Quirin Hammer
  • Bahram Valamehr
  • Dan S. Kaufman
  • Karl-Johan Malmberg


Cell therapy is emerging as a very promising therapeutic modality against cancer, spearheaded by the clinical success of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells for B cell malignancies. Currently, FDA-approved CAR-T cell products are based on engineering of autologous T cells harvested from the patient, typically using a central manufacturing facility for gene editing before the product can be delivered to the clinic and infused to the patients. For a broader implementation of advanced cell therapy and to reduce costs, it would be advantageous to use allogeneic “universal” cell therapy products that can be stored in cell banks and provided upon request, in a manner analogous to biopharmaceutical drug products. In this review, we outline a roadmap for development of off-the-shelf cell therapy based on natural killer (NK) cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We discuss strategies to engineer iPSC-derived NK (iPSC-NK) cells for enhanced functional potential, persistence, and homing.


Induced pluripotent stem cells Natural killer cells Off-the-shelf Cell therapy Chimeric antigen receptor Cancer immunotherapy 



This work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Children’s Cancer Society, the Swedish Cancer Society, the Karolinska Institutet, the Norwegian Cancer Society, the Norwegian Research Council, the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, and the KG Jebsen Center for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

K.J. Malmberg and D.S. Kaufman serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of Fate Therapeutics and obtain research support. Bahram Valamehr is employed by Fate Therapeutics. The respective relationships have been reviewed and managed by University of San Diego California, Oslo University Hospital, and Karolinska Institutet in accordance with the institutions’ conflict of interest policies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle L. Saetersmoen
    • 1
  • Quirin Hammer
    • 2
  • Bahram Valamehr
    • 3
  • Dan S. Kaufman
    • 4
  • Karl-Johan Malmberg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.The KG Jebsen Center for Cancer ImmunotherapyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, HuddingeKarolinska InstituteSolnaSweden
  3. 3.Fate Therapeutics Inc.San DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  5. 5.Institute for Cancer researchOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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