Study: NK Cells Are More Effective Than CAR-T Treatment for Multiple Myeloma


CAR-NK therapies are also shown to have fewer adverse reactions, and 25% of mice that were treated remained disease-free.

A treatment based on NK cells has proved to be more effective and demonstrate fewer adverse reactions in mice with multiple myeloma compared with CAR-T cell immunotherapy, results from a study at the H120-CNIO Haematological Malignancies Clinical Research Unit showed.

“Overall, our results show that it is possible to modify autologous NK cells from multiple myeloma patients to safely express a NKG2D-CAR. These cells…could be an effective strategy against multiple myeloma,” Joaquín Martínez-López, MD, a hematologist who led the study, said in a statement.

Investigators found that 25% of mice that were treated remained disease-free, the study results show.

Investigators modified NK cells so that they could bind to the antigens of the NKG2D receptors, which are not found in normal cells but are in 70% of human cancers.

In CAR-T-cell therapy, T cells are modified to bind to specific molecules on an individual’s cancer cell to kill them. T cells were used, because NK cells are harder to handle, but investigators found that CAR-NK cell therapies are more effective and have fewer adverse reactions in mice with multiple myeloma.

There are many CAR therapeutic clinical trials under way, and the European Medicines Agency has approved the use of CAR-T-cell Therapy for individuals with myeloma, but NK therapy is being looked at as an alternative.

The study results were published in the Blood Cancer Journal.


Researchers at CNIO and 12 de Octubre Hospital prove efficacy of new immunotherapy for multiple myeloma. EurekAlert. News release. October 6, 2021. Accessed on October 7, 2021.

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