Research Papers:

Characterization of tumor infiltrating natural killer cell subset

Inbar Levi, Hagai Amsalem, Aviram Nissan, Merav Darash-Yahana, Tamar Peretz, Ofer Mandelboim and Jacob Rachmilewitz _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:13835-13843. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3453

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Inbar Levi1,*, Hagai Amsalem2,*, Aviram Nissan3, Merav Darash-Yahana4, Tamar Peretz4, Ofer Mandelboim5, Jacob Rachmilewitz1

1Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah University Hospital-Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel

3The Surgical Oncology Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel

4Sharett Institute of Oncology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

5The Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jacob Rachmilewitz, e-mail: rjacob@cc. huji.ac.il

Keywords: NK cells, decidua, VEGF, TILs

Received: January 25, 2015     Accepted: February 25, 2015     Published: March 23, 2015


The presence of tumor-infiltrating Natural Killer (NK) within a tumor bed may be indicative of an ongoing immune response toward the tumor. However, many studies have shown that an intense NK infiltration, is associated with advanced disease and may even facilitate cancer development. The exact role of the tumor infiltrating NK cells and the correlation between their presence and poor prognosis remains unclear. Interestingly, during pregnancy high numbers of a specific NK subset, CD56brightCD16dim, are accumulated within first trimester deciduas. These decidual NK (dNK) cells are unique in their gene expression pattern secret angiogenic factors that induce vascular growth. In the present study we demonstrate a significant enrichment of a CD56brighCD16dim NK cells within tumors. These NK cells express several dNK markers including VEGF. Hence, this study adds new insights into the identity of tumor residual NK cells, which has clear implications for the treatment of human cancer.

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