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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 473245, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/473245
Review Article

Clinical Studies Applying Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells for the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma

1Department of Internal Medicine III, Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO), Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Sigmund Freud Straße 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany
2Department of Urology, Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO), Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Sigmund Freud Straße 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany

Received 22 June 2012; Revised 24 August 2012; Accepted 3 September 2012

Academic Editor: Graham Ogg

Copyright © 2012 Clara E. Jäkel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) seems to be resistant to conventional chemo- and radiotherapy and the general treatment regimen of cytokine therapy produces only modest responses while inducing severe side effects. Nowadays standard of care is the treatment with VEGF-inhibiting agents or mTOR inhibition; nevertheless, immunotherapy can induce complete remissions and long-term survival in selected patients. Among different adoptive lymphocyte therapies, cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells have a particularly advantageous profile as these cells are easily available, have a high proliferative rate, and exhibit a high antitumor activity. Here, we reviewed clinical studies applying CIK cells, either alone or with standard therapies, for the treatment of RCC. The adverse events in all studies were mild, transient, and easily controllable. In vitro studies revealed an increased antitumor activity of peripheral lymphocytes of participants after CIK cell treatment and CIK cell therapy was able to induce complete clinical responses in RCC patients. The combination of CIK cell therapy and standard therapy was superior to standard therapy alone. These studies suggest that CIK cell immunotherapy is a safe and competent treatment strategy for RCC patients and further studies should investigate different treatment combinations and schedules for optimal application of CIK cells.