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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 435745, 8 pages
Review Article

Cytokine-Induced NK-Like T Cells: From Bench to Bedside

1Department of Haematology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608
2Division of Cellular and Molecular Research, Humphrey Oei Institute of Cancer Research, National Cancer Center Singapore, 11 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169610

Received 19 November 2009; Accepted 4 February 2010

Academic Editor: Hanchun Yang

Copyright © 2010 Yeh Ching Linn and Kam M. Hui. 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.


Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are polyclonal T effector cells generated when cultured under cytokine stimulation. CIK cells exhibit potent, non-MHC-restricted cytolytic activities against susceptible tumor cells of both autologous and allogeneic origins. Over the past 20 years, CIK cells have evolved from experimental observations into early clinical studies with encouraging preliminary efficacy towards susceptible autologous and allogeneic tumor cells in both therapeutic and adjuvant settings. This paper is our attempt to summarize the available published literature related to CIK cells. Looking into the future, we anticipate that the continuous therapeutic application of CIK cells will likely be developed along two major directions: overcoming the challenge to organize large prospective randomized clinical trials to define the roles of CIK cells in cancer immunotherapy and expanding its spectrum of cytotoxicity towards resistant tumor cells through experimental manipulations.