Autologous Cytokine-Induced Killer Cell Immunotherapy for Patients with High-Risk Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma After the First Complete Remission


Zhou M, et al. Onco Targets Ther 2020.


PURPOSE: To evaluate whether autologous cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cell immunotherapy improves the prognosis of patients with high-risk diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after the first complete remission (CR).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were extracted from 20 patients with high-risk DLBCL (IPI≥3) after the first CR. Twenty CR patients who were age- and sex-matched during the same period were selected as controls. PBMCs were cultured with IFN-γ, IL-2 and anti-CD3 mAb to generate CIK cells. These obtained cells were then transfused back into the patients; the transfusion was repeated every 3 months up to a total of four courses. Changes in peripheral blood lymphocyte subgroups and survival were assessed.

RESULTS: Compared with the baseline proportions, the proportion of CD3+ T cells, CD3+CD8+ T cells, and NK cells in the peripheral blood were significantly higher after transfusions (p<0.05). The 5-year DFS was improved from 45.0 ± 11.1% to 79.3 ± 9.2% in the CIK group (HR favoring CIK, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.92; p = 0.035), and the 5-year OS was estimated at 90 ± 6.7% for CIK versus 55 ± 11.1% for control (HR favoring CIK, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.93; p = 0.040). No severe side effects were observed related to CIK treatment.

CONCLUSION: Autologous CIK cell immunotherapy has emerged as a safe and efficacious option to improve the prognosis of patients with high-risk DLBCL after the first CR.