DOI: 10.3390/cimb46010011 ISSN: 1467-3045

Antitumor Immunity: Role of NK Cells and Extracellular Vesicles in Cancer Immunotherapy

Angelina E. Prokopeva, Charles C. Emene, Marina O. Gomzikova
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Microbiology

The immune system plays a crucial role in recognizing and eliminating altered tumor cells. However, tumors develop mechanisms to evade the body’s natural immune defenses. Therefore, methods for specifically recognizing/targeting tumor cells, for instance, through the activation, directed polarization, and training of immune cells, have been developed based on the body’s immune cells. This strategy has been termed cellular immunotherapy. One promising strategy for treating tumor diseases is NK cell-based immunotherapy. NK cells have the ability to recognize and destroy transformed cells without prior activation as well as tumor cells with reduced MHC-I expression. A novel approach in immunotherapy is the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from NK cells. The main advantages of NK cell-derived EVs are their small size and better tissue penetration into a tumor. The aim of this review is to systematically present existing information on the mechanisms of antitumor immunity and the role of NK cells and extracellular vesicles in cancer immunotherapy. Clinical and preclinical studies utilizing NK cells and extracellular vesicles for anticancer therapy currently underway will provide valuable insights for researchers in the field of cancer.

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