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Translational approaches to enhancing Human NKT cells targeting of non-small cell lung cancer

Eilis Dockry/Derek Doherty/Steven Gray

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality, is associated with 1 million deaths annually, and only 13% of lung cancer patients survive more than 5 years. Mortality rates remain high because of difficulties in early detection and resistance to current therapeutics. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells constitute less than 1% of T lymphocytes in human blood.  They play a role in immune surveillance against microbial pathogens and tumours and can kill tumour cells in a MHC-independent manner in vitro. As such, adoptive transfer of iNKT cells or pharmacological activation of iNKT cells in vivo have the potential for treating cancer. This project aims to measure to identify and measure the presence of iNKT cells in the lungs of cancer patients, and to use epigenetic therapies to enhance their tumourigenic capabilities by inducing CD1d expression by tumour cells.


SAHA induces the up-regulation of CD1d mRNA in NSCLC cell lines.  NSCLC lines A549 (A) and SK-MES-1 (B) were treated with SAHA for 24 hours and induction of CD1d mRNA was measured by RT-PCR following treatment.  Expression of CD1d against beta-actin is plotted as mean ± SEM for each cell line, and each experiment was repeated at least two times.



Last updated 21 September 2016 Immunology (Email).