Best of both worlds

Why NKT cells could help or even upstage CAR T cells

Natural killer (NK) cells aren't the only new class of immune cells attracting attention for immuno-oncology. A group from Baylor College of Medicine has found a subset of natural killer T (NKT) cells, a cell type that falls within the innate immune system but shares features with both NK and T cells, and is exploring them for cancer.

Most cancer immunotherapies in development involve components of the adaptive immune system, aiming to induce potent immune responses, typically via T cells. But some are exploiting the innate immune system, which non-specifically defends against pathogens, cancers and other abnormal cells, and includes NK cells (see Figure: Crossing the aisle).

NKT cells express both a

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