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Cytokine-induced killer cells as a feasible adoptive Immunotherapy for the treatment of Lung Cancer

Efficacy of CIK for patients with lung cancer


This study investigates the role of CIKs in patients with advanced lung cancer. As a result the combination of immunotherapy with traditional therapies may be feasible and promising method for treating lung cancer.

Patients characteristics

136 patients age between 18 and 80 with histologically confirmed with lung cancer, with a Karnofsky performance status score >60, life expectancy >3 months and no obvious heart, liver, kidney, and pulmonary insufficiency.


Blood (60–100 mL) were obtained from umbilical cord blood of patients. PBMCs were isolated by Ficoll-hypaque density-gradient centrifugation, and sometimes the PBMCs were separated by hemapheresis. PBMCs (å 2.0 × 106 per mL) were plated into 25 cm2 flask and cultured with GT- T551-H3 containing human IFN-γ (1.0 × 103 IU/mL). The next day, anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (Clone OKT3) (100 ng/ mL) or humanized anti-human CD3 monoclonal antibody (100 ng/mL), IL-1α (1.0 × 103 IU/mL), and IL-2 (1.0 × 103 IU/mL) were added to the medium. The cells were incubated in a humidified atmosphere with 5% CO2 at 37 °C. The medium was changed every 2 or 3 days.


All patients included finished platinum-based doublet chemotherapy at least four cycles. The first- line chemotherapy plans for NSCLC patients included PP (Pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 day 1 and Cisplatin 75 mg/m2 day 1, or Carboplatin AUC 5 day 1), TP (Paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 day 1 and Carboplatin AUC 6 day 1), DP (Docetaxel 75 mg/m2 day 1 and Cisplatin 75 mg/ m2 day 1), GP (Gemcitabine 1250mg/m2 day 1, 8 and Cisplatin 75 mg/m2 day 1), or NP (Vinorelbine 25–30 mg/ m2 day 1, 8 and Cisplatin 75–80mg/m2 day 1). SCLC patients were treated with etoposide 80 mg/m2 day 1, 2, 3 and Cisplatin 80 mg/m2 day 1 or Irinotecan 60 mg/m2 day 1, 8, 15 and Cisplatin 60mg/m2 day 1 as the first- line chemotherapy. Patients in the T group received autologous CIK cell treatment after chemotherapy.


The median OS of patients in the T group was longer than that in the C group (38 vs. 30 months). For CIK group, the 3-year OS rate was 50.7, which was significantly improved compared to that in the control group with 33.8%. The median OS in NSCLC patients was significantly improvedin the T group than that in the C group (40 vs. 32 months). Although median OS in SCLC patients was 28 months in T group while 19 months in C group.
Adverse reaction
One patient had temporary arrhythmia during chemotherapy in the C group, which was relieved within half an hour after treatment. Comparisons of the incidence of myelosuppression, vomiting, and fever revealed no significant differences between the two groups. There was no severe liver toxicity, renal toxicity, peripheral nerve toxicity, or other fatal adverse reactions in the two groups.


In conclusion, the OS rates of patients received combination of chemotherapy and CIK treatment were significantly improved compared to the OS rates of patients only received chemotherapy. Additionally, CIK therapy represented good toleration in this. All the results suggested that combination of immunotherapy with traditional therapy will be a feasible and promising method for the treatment of lung cancer.

Article Reference link: click here

Scientific article publishing date 3/6/2018

Immucura identifier BSC21_241EN