CAR-Expressing Natural Killer Cells for Cancer Retargeting

Transfus Med Hemother. 2019 Feb;46(1):4-13. doi: 10.1159/000495771. Epub 2019 Feb 5.


Since the approval in 2017 and the outstanding success of Kymriah® and Yescarta®, the number of clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor-modified autologous T cells has been constantly rising. Currently, more than 200 clinical trials are listed on In contrast to CAR-T cells, natural killer (NK) cells can be used from allogeneic donors as an "off the shelf product" and provide alternative candidates for cancer retargeting. This review summarises preclinical results of CAR-engineered NK cells using both primary human NK cells and the cell line NK-92, and provides an overview about the first clinical CAR-NK cell studies targeting haematological malignancies and solid tumours, respectively.

Keywords: CAR-NK cell; Chimeric antigen receptor; Haematological malignancies; NK-92; Natural killer cells; Solid tumour.

Publication types

  • Review