NK Cells and CTL

Two killers against tumor in our system are natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). NK cells are potential effector cells with superior advantages over CTLs when used as therapeutic cell products in cancer immunotherapy. 
These advantages include but not limited to: 
1) the “natural killing" properties; 
2) pan-specific recognition of tumor cells; 
3) broader killing activity; 
4) rapid response rate; 
5) low potential risk of CRS and GVHD; 
6) easily manufactured from various donor sources without relying on patient’s autologous immune cells.



  T cells NK cells
Tumor recognition TCR, HLA-restricted recognition, low affinity NKR, pan-specific recognition, high affinity
Tumor killing Clonal amplification, slow response Broad killing, rapid response
Cytokine secretion Secret multiple and quantity of inflammatory cytokines Secret few and small quantity of cytokines
In vivo persistence Long Short
Memory response Strong and long-term Weak
Side effects Cytokine storm, GVHD No/low
In vitro expansion Easy Difficult
Gene transduction Easy Difficult
Cryopreservation Equal Equal
Cell source Autologous Autologous or allogenous

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