CAR-NK cell therapy is a cutting-edge cancer treatment that uses engineered natural killer cells (NK cells) to attack cancer cells. In CAR-NK cell therapy, NK cells are genetically modified to express a specific antigen receptor (CAR) to enhance their ability to recognize and kill cancer cells.
The advantage of CAR-NK cell therapy is that it combines the natural killing ability of NK cells and the antigen specificity of CAR. NK cells are a class of immune cells that can directly kill cancer cells through multiple mechanisms, including releasing cytotoxins and inducing apoptosis. By introducing CARs into NK cells, they can be directionally recognized and bound to specific antigens on the surface of cancer cells, thereby further enhancing their killing effect.
The process of Car-NK cell therapy usually includes the following steps: First, natural killer cells (NK cells), which have natural anti-cancer ability, are collected from the blood or bone marrow of the patient or donor. These cells were then isolated and processed through an activation method to activate their cancer-fighting abilities. Next, the activated NK cells are placed in a culture medium for expansion to increase their numbers. During cell culture, specific receptors (usually CARs) are introduced into NK cells through genetic engineering techniques to enhance their ability to recognize and attack cancer cells. The modified NK cells are verified and quality controlled to ensure that their function, purity and safety meet the therapeutic requirements. Finally, the quality-controlled modified NK cells are infused into the patient through intravenous injection, and continue to search for and attack cancer cells to achieve therapeutic effects.
CAR-NK cell therapy has several potential advantages. First, compared with CAR-T cell therapy, NK cells come from a wider variety of sources, including peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, and artificially cultured NK cell lines, providing more opportunities for treatment. Second, compared with CAR-T cells, NK cells have lower toxicity and fewer related side effects, because NK cells do not rely on the matching of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) to identify target cells, thus avoiding the Restrictions for certain tissue types.
CAR-NK cell therapy has shown potential therapeutic effects in clinical studies, especially in hematological malignancies such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In addition, CAR-NK cell therapy has also made some progress in the research of other cancer types.
In conclusion, CAR-NK cell therapy, as an emerging immunotherapy approach, has shown great potential, bringing new treatment options for cancer patients. With the further improvement of technology and the advancement of clinical research, CAR-NK cell therapy is expected to develop into a more effective and safer anti-cancer therapy in the future.