Inability Of Monocytes From Pancreatic Cancer Patients To Activate NK Cells And The Role Of CD16 Receptor

Tech ID: 30527 / UC Case 2019-047-0

Summary

UCLA researchers in the Department of Dentistry have discovered a novel method to activate natural killer (NK) cells for applications in cancer immunotherapy.

Background

Natural killer (NK) cells have the ability to lyse cancer stem cells and undifferentiated tumors, and are promising candidates for application in cell-based immunotherapy.  However, their application has been limited due to inability to obtain sufficient numbers of highly functional NK cells.  As an additional obstacle, NK cells from cancer patients have demonstrated lower expansion than that of those from healthy individuals, further raising the bar for treatment.  There is a great need to identify therapeutic composition and methods for improved NK immunotherapy.

Innovation

Researchers at UCLA have developed a method to activate NK cells from pancreatic cancer patients and generate large number of highly functional NK cells.  This is achieved through modulation of activity and expression level of a specific surface molecule commonly expressed on immune cell subsets, but was recently discovered by the research group to play an important role in NK activity.  The proposed innovation has potential to increase NK cell activity, increase IFN-y secretion by NK cells, and decrease tumor burdens in patients.

Applications

  • NK cell therapy
  • Combination immunotherapy
  • Autologous cell therapy
  • Allogeneic cell therapy

Advantages

  • Increase immune function of rare NK cells in patients
  • Applicable to both autologous and allogeneic approaches

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Contact

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Inventors

  • Jewett, Anahid

Other Information

Keywords

immunotherapy; natural killer cells; NK cells; activation; cancer

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