Successful adoptive transfer and in vivo expansion of human haploidentical NK cells in patients with cancer

Jeffrey S. Miller, Yvette Soignier, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Sarah A. McNearney, Gong H. Yun, Susan K. Fautsch, David McKenna, Chap Le, Todd E. Defor, Linda J. Burns, Paul J. Orchard, Bruce R. Blazar, John E. Wagner, Arne Slungaard, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Ian J. Okazaki, Philip B. McGlave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1053 Scopus citations

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that autologous natural killer (NK)-cell therapy after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is safe but does not provide an antitumor effect. We hypothesize that this is due to a lack of NK-cell inhibitory receptor mismatching with autologous tumor cells, which may be overcome by allogeneic NK-cell infusions. Here, we test haploidentical, related-donor NK-cell infusions in a nontransplantation setting to determine safety and in vivo NK-cell expansion. Two lower intensity outpatient immune suppressive regimens were tested: (1) low-dose cyclophosphamide and methylprednisolone and (2) fludarabine. A higher intensity inpatient regimen of high-dose cyclophosphamide and fludarabine (Hi-Cy/Flu) was tested in patients with poor-prognosis acute myeloid leukemia (AML). All patients received subcutaneous interleukin 1 (IL-2) after infusions. Patients who received lower intensity regimens showed transient persistence but no in vivo expansion of donor cells. In contrast, infusions after the more intense Hi-Cy/Flu resulted in a marked rise in endogenous IL-15, expansion of donor NK cells, and induction of complete hematologic remission in 5 of 19 poor-prognosis patients with AML. These findings suggest that haploidentical NK cells can persist and expand in vivo and may have a role in the treatment of selected malignancies used alone or as an adjunct to HCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3051-3057
Number of pages7
JournalBlood
Volume105
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005

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