Early Adaptive Natural Killer Cell Expansion Is Associated with Decreased Relapse After Autologous Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma

Aimee M. Merino, Rohtesh S Mehta, Xianghua Luo, Hansol Kim, Todd De For, Murali Janakiram, Sarah A Cooley, Rose Wangen, Frank Cichocki, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Jeffrey S. Miller, Veronika Bachanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adaptive natural killer (NK) cells are long-lived and exhibit properties of immunologic memory against cytomegalovirus (CMV). We previously reported that expansion of adaptive NK cells after CMV reactivation in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) was associated with a lower rate of relapse of acute myelogenous leukemia. In the present study, we examined the impact of adaptive NK cell expansion in a cohort of 110 individuals who underwent autologous HCT (AHCT) for a lymphoid malignancy (lymphoma or multiple myeloma [MM]). In this cohort, higher absolute numbers of adaptive NK cells (>1.58/μL) at day 28 post-AHCT were associated with significantly decreased risk of relapse in patients with MM. No significant association was seen in patients with lymphoma. Further stratification of MM patients by CMV serostatus found a strong protective effect of adaptive NK cells only in CMV-seropositive individuals. These findings suggest that strategies to increase adaptive NK cells after AHCT may be a therapeutic option in patients with MM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310.e1-310.e6
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial disclosure: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants P01 CA111412 (to J.S.M.), P01 CA65493 (to J.S.M.), R35 CA197292 (to J.S.M.), K99/R00 HL123638 (to F.C.), and T32 2T32HL007062 (to A.M.). Statistical analysis was performed with Biostatistics Shared Resource of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, supported by National Cancer Institute Grant P30 CA07759.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy


  • Adaptive natural killer cells
  • Autologous transplant
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Multiple myeloma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Early Adaptive Natural Killer Cell Expansion Is Associated with Decreased Relapse After Autologous Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this