Natural killer activity of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells in breast cancer patients

Biomed Pharmacother. 2009 Nov;63(9):703-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2009.02.003. Epub 2009 Feb 25.


Natural killer (NK) activity of immune cells plays a central role in host defense against cancer and virus-infected cells. Natural cytotoxic activity of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells was assessed by a Calcein-AM release assay in 89 subjects. In the present study, we here demonstrated that NK activities of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from breast cancer patients were significantly lower as compared with that of healthy individuals. There were significant differences in the NK activities of PBMCs from HER2-negative breast cancer patients as compared with HER2-positive patients. Our results suggest that NK activity of PBMCs is lower in breast cancer indicating a role for immunological natural host defense mechanisms against cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology*
  • Middle Aged