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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14632-14648;

Adoptive Immunotherapy Strategies with Cytokine-Induced Killer (CIK) Cells in the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik III, Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO), University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Straße 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 21 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Action and Applications of Cytokines in Immunotherapy)
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Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of immune effector cells that feature a mixed T- and Natural killer (NK) cell-like phenotype in their terminally-differentiated CD3+CD56+ subset. The easy availability, high proliferation rate and widely major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-unrestricted antitumor activity of CIK cells contribute to their particularly advantageous profile, making them an attractive approach for adoptive immunotherapy. CIK cells have shown considerable cytotoxicity against both solid tumors and hematological malignancies in vitro and in animal studies. Recently, initial clinical experiences demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of CIK cell immunotherapy in cancer patients, even at advanced disease stages. Likewise, the clinical application of CIK cells in combination with standard therapeutic procedures revealed synergistic antitumor effects. In this report, we will focus our consideration on CIK cells in the treatment of hematological malignancies. We will give insight into the latest advances and future perspectives and outline the most prominent results obtained in 17 clinical studies. Overall, CIK cells demonstrated a crucial impact on the treatment of patients with hematological malignancies, as evidenced by complete remissions, prolonged survival durations and improved quality of life. However, up to now, the optimal application schedule eventually favoring their integration into clinical practice has still to be developed. View Full-Text
Keywords: CIK (cytokine-induced killer) cells; clinical trials; immunotherapy; cancer treatment CIK (cytokine-induced killer) cells; clinical trials; immunotherapy; cancer treatment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Schmeel, F.C.; Schmeel, L.C.; Gast, S.-M.; Schmidt-Wolf, I.G.H. Adoptive Immunotherapy Strategies with Cytokine-Induced Killer (CIK) Cells in the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 14632-14648.

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