Natural killer cell-related anti-tumour adoptive cell immunotherapy

J Cell Mol Med. 2024 Jun;28(11):e18362. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.18362.


Chimeric antigen receptor- (CAR-)modified T cells have been successfully used to treat blood cancer. With the improved research on anti-tumour adoptive cell therapy, researchers have focused on immune cells other than T lymphocytes. Natural killer (NK) cells have received widespread attention as barriers to natural immunity. Compared to T lymphocyte-related adoptive cell therapy, the use of NK cells to treat tumours does not cause graft-versus-host disease, significantly improving immunity. Moreover, NK cells have more sources than T cells, and the related modified cells are less expensive. NK cells function through several pathways in anti-tumour mechanisms. Currently, many anti-tumour clinical trials have used NK cell-related adoptive cell therapies. In this review, we have summarized the recent progress in NK cell-related adoptive cellular immunotherapy for tumour treatment and propose the current challenges faced by CAR-NK cell therapy.

Keywords: challenges; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)‐T cell; immunotherapy; natural killer (NK) cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive* / methods
  • Killer Cells, Natural* / immunology
  • Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / immunology


  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen