Adoptive immunotherapy of cytokine-induced killer cell therapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 20;9(11):e112662. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112662. eCollection 2014.


Aim: The aim of this study was to systemically evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

Materials and methods: A computerized search of randomized controlled trials for CIK cell-based therapy was performed. The overall survival, clinical response rate, immunological assessment and side effects were evaluated.

Results: Overall, 17 randomized controlled trials of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a total of 1172 patients were included in the present analysis. Our study showed that the CIK cell therapy significantly improved the objective response rate and overall survival compared to the non-CIK cell-treated group. After CIK combined therapy, we observed substantially increased percentages of CD3+, CD4+, CD4+CD8+, CD3+CD56+ and NK cells, whereas significant decreases were noted in the percentage of CD8+ and regulatory T cell (Treg) subgroups. A significant increase in Ag-NORs was observed in the CIK-treated patient group (p = 0.00001), whereas carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was more likely to be reduced to a normal level after CIK treatment (p = 0.0008). Of the possible major side effects, only the incidence of fever in the CIK group was significantly higher compared to the group that received chemotherapy alone.

Conclusion: The CIK cell combined therapy demonstrated significant superiority in the overall survival, clinical response rate, and T lymphocytes responses and did not present any evidence of major adverse events in patients with NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells / immunology
  • Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome

Grant support

This research work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31171427 and 30971651 to Zheng-Xu Wang), Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Project; Clinical characteristics and Application Research of Capital (No. Z121107001012136 to Zheng-Xu Wang) and the Postdoctoral Foundation of China (No. 20060400775 to Jun-Xia Cao). Zheng-Xu Wang designed the research; Jun-Xia Cao is one of the people who performed the research and wrote the paper. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.