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In recent years, immunotherapy has become a powerful therapeutic option against multiple malignancies. The unique capacity of natural killer (NK) cells to attack cancer cells without antigen specificity makes them an optimal immunotherapeutic tool for targeting tumors. Several approaches are currently being pursued to maximize the anti-tumor properties of NK cells in the clinic, including the development of NK cell expansion protocols for adoptive transfer, the establishment of a favorable microenvironment for NK cell activity, the redirection of NK cell activity against tumor cells, and the blockage of inhibitory mechanisms that constrain NK cell function. We here summarize the recent strategies in NK cell-based immunotherapies and discuss the requirement to further optimize these approaches for enhancement of the clinical outcome of NK cell-based immunotherapy targeting tumors.

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Journal article



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Rosalie and Harold Rae Brown Cancer Immunotherapy Research Program, Borstein Family Melanoma Program, Translational Immunology Department, Saint John's Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA.


Killer Cells, Natural, Humans, Neoplasms, Immunotherapy, Adoptive Transfer, Tumor Microenvironment