Natural killer cells for pancreatic cancer immunotherapy: Role of nanoparticles

Virender Kumar, Ram I. Mahato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Advanced pancreatic cancer patients have a dismal prognosis despite advances in integrative therapy. The field of tumor immunology has witnessed significant advancements for cancer treatment. However, immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer is not very effective due to its highly complex tumor microenvironment (TME). Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that play an important role in the innate immune system. NK cells do not require antigen pre-sensitization, nor are they confined by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). NK cells have the potential to eliminate cancer cells through CAR-dependent and CAR-independent pathways, demonstrating reduced levels of systemic toxicity in the process. The availability of several potential sources of NK cells is an additional benefit that contributes to meeting the therapeutic criteria. Adding nanotechnology to enhance the functions of effector NK cells is also an appealing strategy. This article primarily discusses various approaches recently been utilized to enhance the NK functions for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In addition, new advances in boosting NK cell therapeutic efficacy by nanoparticle mediation are presented, with a focus on pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number216462
JournalCancer Letters
StatePublished - Nov 28 2023


  • Immunotherapy
  • Nanoparticles
  • Natural killer cell
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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