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Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells

Natural killer-like T lymphocytes termed cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are able to eradicate lymphomas and other malignancies. CIK cells are generated by incubation of peripheral blood lymphocytes with an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, IL-2, IL-1 and interferon - gamma. In particular, cells transfected with cytokine genes possess an improved proliferation rate and a higher cytotoxic activity as compared to regular CIK cells.

CIK cells play an important role in research und in clinics. They are already licensed as therapeutic option in various countries. More than 5,000 patients treated with CIK cells in clinical trials with only mild adverse events. More than 30 tumor entities have been treated with CIK cells. CIK cells are generated from buffy coat; stimulated with IFN-gamma, anti-CD3, IL-1ß and IL-2. They are a heterogeneous cell population of cytotoxic T cells with NK features, differentiating after two weeks from CD3+ CD56- CD8+ T cells. The CD3+CD56+ cell subpopulation has the highest cytolytic activity against tumor cells.

CIK cells have been found successful in clinical trials. In these trials most common tumors were HCC, gastric cancer, NSCLC and renal cell carcinoma. CIK cells used in cancer, GvHD, autoimmune and infectious diseases.