The Centre for Advanced Therapeutics Early Career Researcher Network is delighted to welcome Dr May Sabry, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Cell, Gene and Tissue Therapeutics, University College London. Dr Sabry will be presenting her work on cell-based immunotherapies, and specifically:
Tumour-priming generates memory-like natural killer cells for cancer immunotherapy
Abstract: Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that target virus-infected and tumour cells. NK cells are exciting candidates for cancer immunotherapy due to their fast-acting ‘innate’ ability to mount anti-tumour responses and recently highlighted ‘adaptive’ properties including priming and memory-like functions. Tumour-priming of NK cells through in vitro exposure to tumour target cells pre-activates NK cells to demonstrate enhanced tumour cell lysis upon restimulation generating long-term memory-like features. The generation of memory-like NK cells was previously reported following exposure to cytomegalovirus (CMV), interleukin (IL)-12/15/18 combinations or the tumour cell line NALM-16. Here, we report a novel type of tumour-induced memory-like (TIML) NK cell induced by the acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) cell line, INB16. These TIML NK cells are generated in vitro over a period of 7 days to show better expansion, survival, and proliferation relative to other memory-like NK cells, maintaining similar levels of enhanced NK cell anti-tumour functional abilities including tumour lysis, and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion against a wide range of tumour targets. Their unique phenotypic and gene expression signatures suggest a novel and distinct form of memory-like NK cell governed by tumour-specific signalling pathways. The universal and wide-acting function of these highly expanded NK cells may have important implications in the clinical setting to better mitigate challenges in low NK cell number and lytic ability.
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