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Nina Shah, MD, discusses the potential utility of natural killer cells in multiple myeloma.
Nina Shah, MD, hematologist and oncologist, associate professor of medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the potential utility of natural killer (NK) cells in multiple myeloma.
NK cells are a potential type of allogeneic cellular therapy for patients with multiple myeloma, explains Shah. However, a challenge with NK cells is that there are not as many NK cells as other cells; therefore, NK cells need to be expanded and often engineered, Shah explains. One example of engineering inducible NK cells is being evaluated by Fate Therapeutics. The NK cells are engineered from a human induced pluripotent stem cell bank to then be cultured, Shah adds.
Moreover, the NK cells strongly express CD16 and Fc receptor on the cell surface. Additionally, CD38 is engineered so utilizing daratumumab (Darzalex) is an option with both engineering tactics, Shah continues. Additionally, the cells are engineered in the context of CAR so targeting BCMA is an option to kill cells. An IL-15 receptor fusion protein was also engineered to allow the NK cells to persist. Preclinical data have shown that the cells are active and persistent, Shah explains.
Overall, more data are anticipated, which will include patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma who received NK cells with a monoclonal antibody, such as daratumumab, Shah explains. Moreover, this approach would be given off-the-shelf, which could open an accessible option to patients, Shah concludes.