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Cancers 2011, 3(3), 3661-3675; doi:10.3390/cancers3033661

Natural Killer T Cells Subsets in Cancer, Functional Defects in Prostate Cancer and Implications for Immunotherapy

Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, Bonn 53127, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2011 / Revised: 1 September 2011 / Accepted: 13 September 2011 / Published: 20 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prostate Cancer)
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Natural killer T cells are T lymphocytes with unique activation and effector properties. The majority of NKT cells, termed type-I or iNKT cells, recognize lipid antigens presented on MHC-like CD1d molecules. Type-I NKT cells have the capacity to rapidly secrete various cytokines upon activation, thereby regulate immune responses exerts dominant anti-tumor and anti-microbial effector functions. Specific activation of type-I NKT cells in mouse models boosts immunity and prevents metastasis, which has led to a number of phase I-II clinical trials. Since the discovery of NKT cells other subsets with different specificities and effector functions have been described. This article briefly reviews the physiological functions of NKT cell subsets, their implications in cancer and the attempts that have been made to employ NKT cells for immune therapy of cancer.
Keywords: NKT cell; prostate cancer; immunotherapy NKT cell; prostate cancer; immunotherapy

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Nowak, M.; Schmidt-Wolf, I.G. Natural Killer T Cells Subsets in Cancer, Functional Defects in Prostate Cancer and Implications for Immunotherapy. Cancers 2011, 3, 3661-3675.

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