Research Papers:

Anti-ovarian tumor response of donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells is due to infiltrating cytotoxic NK cells

Veethika Pandey _, Jeremiah L. Oyer, Robert Y. Igarashi, Sarah B. Gitto, Alicja J. Copik and Deborah A. Altomare

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:7318-7328. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6939

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Veethika Pandey1, Jeremiah L. Oyer1, Robert Y. Igarashi1, Sarah B. Gitto1, Alicja J. Copik1, Deborah A. Altomare1

1Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA

Correspondence to:

Deborah A. Altomare, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: preclinical, adoptive cell transfer, natural killer cells, allogeneic peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Received: July 27, 2015     Accepted: January 01, 2016     Published: January 18, 2016


Treatment of ovarian cancer, a leading cause of gynecological malignancy, has good initial efficacy with surgery and platinum/taxane-based chemotherapy, but poor long-term survival in patients. Inferior long-term prognosis is attributed to intraperitoneal spreading, relapse and ineffective alternate therapies. Adoptive cell therapy is promising for tumor remission, although logistical concerns impede widespread implementation. In this study, healthy PBMCs were used to examine the immune response in a mouse model with human ovarian cancer, where natural killer (NK) cells were found to be the effector cells that elicited an anti-tumor response. Presence of tumor was found to stimulate NK cell expansion in mice treated intraperitoneally with PBMC+Interleukin-2 (IL-2), as compared to no expansion in non-tumor-bearing mice given the same treatment. PBMC+IL-2 treated mice exhibiting NK cell expansion had complete tumor remission. To validate NK cell mediated anti-tumor response, the intratumoral presence of NK cells and their cytotoxicity was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and granzyme activity of NK cells recovered from the tumor. Collectively, this study highlights the significance of NK cell-cytotoxic response to tumor, which may be attributed to interacting immune cell types in the PBMC population, as opposed to clinically used isolated NK cells showing lack of anti-tumor efficacy in ovarian cancer patients.

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