Cytokine-induced killer cells (CIK) are existing cells in human’s body, its responsibility is to search and kill the cancer cells.
They are CD3-and CD56-positive, non-major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted, natural killer (NK)-like T lymphocytes, generated ex-vivo by incubation of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-1, and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and then expanded. When reintroduced back to patients after autologous stem cell transplantation, CIK cells may recognize and kill tumor cells associated with minimal residual disease (MRD). CIK cells may have enhanced cytotoxic activity compared to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells.
The CIK has been approved by medical practice to be the most efficient cell based immunotherapy. Treatments of malignant tumors such as leukemia, melanoma, lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer by using the CIK cells have shown good outcomes.
Features of CIK immunotherapy
CIK therapy is an effective cell based immunotherapy, it is featured with:
- Tumor cells recognition with no toxic to other normal cells.
- Wide spectrum against tumor and is highly sensitive to multi-drug resistant tumor cells.
- Enhancement of patient’s immunity with specific antiviral ability.
- Derivation from patient’s own blood cells, hence safe to any patient.
- Effectiveness on removing remnant cancer cells or small lesions and preventing from the recurrence of tumor.
- Enhanced efficacy of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, and reduction of their side effects such as toxicity or infections.
- Improving condition or the quality of life (in terms of improved appetite, better sleeping, strengthened physique and prolonged survival time) for patients at late stage hence has no chance for surgery. In some cases, the tumor will shrink or entirely disappeared.
- Regulated immunity with symptoms of glossy skin, faded speckles or having the black hair back.
Indications of CIK immunotherapy
CIK immunotherapy is not restricted by histocompatibility of tumor, it is able to kill any types of tumor. Its high expression of antigens makes the treatment even more effective.
The treatment outcomes of the CIK immunotherapy on breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, myeloid leukemia, melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, malignant lymphoma (except T-cell lymphoma) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are impressive.
Cancer patient at any stage is able to receive the CIK immunotherapy, it eliminates the small lesions cannot be removed by surgery and prevents patient from metastasis or recurrence of the tumor.
Usually, CIK immunotherapy is combined with DC immunotherapy (DC-CIK Therapy) for a better result, an integrative treatment plan including immunotherapy with surgery, intervention, radiotherapy, chemotherapy will make the treatment result even better.
Contraindications of CIK immunotherapy
Patient with below conditions are not capable to receive CIK immunotherapy.
- Pregnancy or lactation
- Severe infection
- Severe allergic constitution
- T-cell lymphoma
- HIV positive
Adverse reactions of CIK immunotherapy
CIK immunotherapy is safe due to the cells are collected from patient’s own body. It has been widely practiced in the clinical treatment of cancer, and no severe adverse reactions reported. In some cases, short-term fever between 37.2℃ and 40℃ were reported 2 – 10 hours after infusion of the cells, and the temperature will drop to the regular range within 2 – 10 hours. Only in a very small number of cases, antipyretics are required.