The changing role of natural killer cells in cancer metastasis

Isaac S. Chan, Andrew J. Ewald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that are critical to the body's antitumor and antimetastatic defense. As such, novel therapies are being developed to utilize NK cells as part of a next generation of immunotherapies to treat patients with metastatic disease. Therefore, it is essential for us to examine how metastatic cancer cells and NK cells interact with each other throughout the metastatic cascade. In this Review, we highlight the recent body of work that has begun to answer these questions. We explore how the unique biology of cancer cells at each stage of metastasis alters fundamental NK cell biology, including how cancer cells can evade immunosurveillance and co-opt NK cells into cells that promote metastasis. We also discuss the translational potential of this knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere143762
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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