Research Papers:

Cryoablation combined with allogenic natural killer cell immunotherapy improves the curative effect in patients with advanced hepatocellular cancer

Mao Lin, Shuzhen Liang, Xiaohua Wang, Yinqing Liang, Mingjie Zhang, Jibing Chen, Lizhi Niu _ and Kecheng Xu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:81967-81977. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17804

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Mao Lin1,2, Shuzhen Liang1, Xiaohua Wang1, Yinqing Liang1, Mingjie Zhang3, Jibing Chen1,2, Lizhi Niu1,2,4 and Kecheng Xu1,2

1Department of Biological Treatment Center, Fuda Cancer Hospital, Jinan University School of Medicine, Guangzhou, China

2Fuda Cancer Institute, Guangzhou, China

3Hank Bioengineering Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

4Department of Oncology, Fuda Cancer Hospital, Jinan University School of Medicine, Guangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Lizhi Niu, email: [email protected]

Jibing Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: curative effect, percutaneous cryoablation, allogenic natural killer cell, hepatocellular cancer, progression-free survival

Received: April 07, 2017     Accepted: April 29, 2017     Published: May 11, 2017


In this study, the clinical efficacy of cryosurgery combined with allogenic natural killer cell immunotherapy for advanced hepatocellular cancer was evaluated. From October 2015 to March 2017, we enrolled 61 patients who met the enrollment criteria and divided them into two groups: 1) the simple cryoablation group (Cryo group, n = 26); and 2) the cryoablation combined with allogenic natural killer cells group (Cryo-NK group, n = 35), the safety and short-term effects were evaluated firstly, then the median progression-free survival, response rate and disease control rate were assessed. All adverse events experienced by the patients were recorded, and included local (e.g., pain, pleural effusion, and ascites) and systemic (e.g., chills, fatigue, and fever) reactions, fever was more frequent. Other possible seriously side effects (e.g., blood or bone marrow changes) were not detected. Combining allogeneic natural killer cells with cryoablation had a synergistic effect, not only enhancing the immune function, improving the quality of life of the patients, but also reducing the expression of AFP and significantly exhibiting good clinical efficacy of the patients. After a median follow-up of 8.7 months (3.9 –15.1months), median progression-free survival was higher in Cryo-NK (9.1 months) than in Cryo (7.6 months, P = 0.0107), median progression-free survival who received multiple natural killer was higher than who just received single natural killer (9.7 months vs.8.4 months, P = 0.0011, respectively), the response rate in Cryo-NK (60.0%) was higher than in Cryo (46.1%, P < 0.05), the disease control rate in Cryo-NK (85.7%) was higher than in Cryo group (69.2%, P < 0.01). Percutaneous cryoablation combined with allogeneic natural killer cell immunotherapy significantly increased median progression-free survival of advanced hepatocellular cancer patients. Multiple allogeneic natural killer cells infusion was associated with better prognosis to advanced hepatocellular cancer.

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