Selective inhibition of tumor growth by clonal NK cells expressing an ErbB2/HER2-specific chimeric antigen receptor.

Schönfeld K, Sahm C, Zhang C, Naundorf S, Brendel C, Odendahl M, Nowakowska P, Bönig H, Köhl U, Kloess S, Köhler S, Holtgreve-Grez H, Jauch A, Schmidt M, Schubert R, Kühlcke K, Seifried E, Klingemann HG, Rieger MA, Tonn T, Grez M, Wels WS.
Source: Mol Ther
Publication Date: (2015)
Issue: 23 (2): 330-8
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Culture Media:

In this reference, the authors describe that human NK-92 cells were propagated in X-VIVO 10 medium (Lonza) supplemented with 5% heat-inactivated human plasma (German Red Cross Blood Donation Service Baden-Württemberg–Hessen, Frankfurt, Germany) and 100 IU/ml IL-2 (Proleukin; Novartis Pharma, Nürnberg, Germany


Natural killer (NK) cells are an important effector cell type for adoptive cancer immunotherapy. Similar to T cells, NK cells can be modified to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to enhance antitumor activity, but experience with CAR-engineered NK cells and their clinical development is still limited. Here, we redirected continuously expanding and clinically usable established human NK-92 cells to the tumor-associated ErbB2 (HER2) antigen. Following GMP-compliant procedures, we generated a stable clonal cell line expressing a humanized CAR based on ErbB2-specific antibody FRP5 harboring CD28 and CD3? signaling domains (CAR 5.28.z). These NK-92/5.28.z cells efficiently lysed ErbB2-expressing tumor cells in vitro and exhibited serial target cell killing. Specific recognition of tumor cells and antitumor activity were retained in vivo, resulting in selective enrichment of NK-92/5.28.z cells in orthotopic breast carcinoma xenografts, and reduction of pulmonary metastasis in a renal cell carcinoma model, respectively. ?-irradiation as a potential safety measure for clinical application prevented NK cell replication, while antitumor activity was preserved. Our data demonstrate that it is feasible to engineer CAR-expressing NK cells as a clonal, molecularly and functionally well-defined and continuously expandable cell therapeutic agent, and suggest NK-92/5.28.z cells as a promising candidate for use in adoptive cancer immunotherapy