Natural Killer therapies for Cancer: a Fast-Evolving field

05/05/2015 - 3 minutes

Natural killers are an emerging approach to fight inflammatory diseases and cancer. These immune actors, that specifically regulate the activity of the immune system, are attracting the attention of several small startups and more than a few big Pharmas.

The immune system includes a set of body defenses, that fight foreign forms. But external bodies aren’t the only threat to human health: during the carcinogenesis process, self-cells become invaders to the own body. However, the immune system has also its own mechanisms to recognize and fight the transformation of self-constituents.

The immune system is organized in two collaborative structures: the Innate immune system and the Adaptative immune system. Immunotherapy uses components from the innate system to ensure that the patient’s immune system fights the disease itself. However, this approach is not a new concept. In fact, the term immunotherapy was officially coined in 1890.

Obviously, the field has radically changed over the last centuries, especially during last decades, where advances in molecular genetics have enable researchers to move from unspecific activators to targeted immunotherapies.

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