Natural killer cells in intracranial neoplasms: presence and therapeutic efficacy against brain tumours.
Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that play an important role in anti-tumour immunity. Their potential against brain cancer has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo, both as a direct anti-tumour agent and in experimental therapies stimulating endogenous NK cell cytotoxicity. However, the clinical translation of these promising results requires detailed knowledge about the immune status of brain tumour patients, with focus on the NK cell population. In this report, we provide an overview of the studies investigating NK cell infiltration into the tumour, emphasizing the need of revision of the methodologies and further research in this field. We also discuss the potential of using autologous or allogeneic NK cells as effector cells in cellular therapy against brain cancer and developing immunotherapies stimulating endogenous NK cell-mediated anti-tumour response, such as blocking inhibitory killer immunoglobulin-like receptors. Combination of NK cell adoptive transfer with targeted therapies, such as anti-EGFR therapeutic antibody (CetuximAb) could also be a potent strategy.