Natural killer cells modulation in hematological malignancies


  • Baier Céline
  • Fino Aurore
  • Sanchez Carole
  • Farnault Laure
  • Rihet Pascal
  • Kahn-Perlès Brigitte
  • Costello Régis


  • Hematological malignancies
  • Natural killer cells
  • Natural cytotoxicity receptors
  • Immune escape
  • Immunotherapy

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Hematological malignancies (HM) treatment improved over the last years resulting in increased achievement of complete or partial remission, but unfortunately high relapse rates are still observed, due to remaining minimal residual disease.Therefore, sustainment of long-term remission is crucial, using either drug maintenance treatment or by boosting or prolonging an immune response. Immune system has a key role in tumor surveillance. Nonetheless, tumor-cells evade the specific T-lymphocyte mediated immune surveillance using many mechanisms but especially by the down-regulation of the expression of HLA class I antigens. In theory, these tumor-cells lacking normal expression of HLA class I molecules should be destroyed by natural killer (NK) cells, according to the missing-self hypothesis. NK cells, at the frontier of innate and adaptive immune system, have a central role in tumor-cells surveillance as demonstrated in the setting of allogenic stem cell trans-plantation. Nevertheless, tumors develop various mechanisms to escape from NK innate immune pressure. Abnormal NK cytolytic functions have been described in many HM. We present here various mechanisms involved in the escape of HM from NK-cell surveillance, i.e., NK-cells quantitative and qualitative abnormalities.

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