CAR-NK for tumor immunotherapy: Clinical transformation and future prospects

Cancer Lett. 2020 Mar 1;472:175-180. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2019.11.033. Epub 2019 Nov 29.


Recently, the use of chimeric antigen receptor-modified T (CAR-T)-cells in the treatment of hematological tumors has been successful and has become a clinical hotspot in tumor immunotherapy. However, their wide application is limited by inherent risks such as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and the amount of time it takes to produce CAR-T cells. Natural killer (NK) cells can be xenografted and have the potential to become off-the-shelf products, making CAR-NK cell therapies universal products. These products may be safer than CAR-T cell therapy. Considering that the fundamental researche is still in its infancy, this review focuses on clinical achievements and new strategies for improving the safety and efficacy of CAR-NK cell therapy, as well as the corresponding challenges.

Keywords: Chimeric antigen receptor; Genetic engineering; NK-92; Natural killer cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / transplantation
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen / immunology
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen / therapeutic use*


  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen