Induction of potent antitumour natural-killer cells from peripheral blood of patients with advanced prostate cancer


T. Ohno, RIKEN Cell Bank, RIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), 3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan.


In this section there are four papers on a variety of topics. The subject of antitumour natural killer cells is addressed in patients with advanced prostate cancer. In another study, the authors describe their work into the effect of oestrogen and testosterone on the urethral seam of the developing male mouse genital tubercle. Another group of authors studied ion-channel currents of smooth muscle cells isolated from the prostate of the guinea pig, and the final paper describes how a novel pyrrole derivative, NS-8, suppresses the rat micturition reflex by inhibiting afferent pelvic nerve activity.


To examine whether antitumour natural-killer (NK) cells can be induced from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with advanced prostate cancer, as cell therapy using antitumour immune cells is a promising candidate treatment but such patients generally have a suppressed immune response against cancer cells.


PBMCs were obtained from 10 patients (four with stage D2 and six with stage B or C disease). For the NK cell expansion, PBMCs were co-cultured with irradiated HFWT cells, a cell line originating from Wilms’ tumour, in RHAM α culture medium supplemented with 5% autologous plasma and interleukin-2 (200 U/mL) for 2 weeks.


When PBMCs were co-cultured with HFWT cells, lymphocytes from all patients had a 20- to 130-fold expansion after 2 weeks of culture. The CD16+ CD56+ cells constituted > 70% of the proliferated lymphocyte population. The induced NK cells had significantly greater cytotoxicity against a prostate cancer cell line (PC-3) than lymphocytes cultured with no HFWT cells. There was no significant difference in growth and phenotypes of lymphocytes and the induced NK cell activity between patients with stage D2, B or C.


NK cells with potent cytotoxic activity against prostate cancer cell lines from patients with advanced prostate cancer were selectively expanded. Further investigation is needed to determine whether this approach could be a candidate for cell therapy for advanced prostate cancer.