Authors: Glanemann, Matthias
Guckelberger, Olaf
Nussler, Andreas K.
Nüssler, Natascha C.
Petzold, Martina
Stange, Barbara J.
Title: Reduced NK-Cell Activity in Patients with Metastatic Colon Cancer
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Natural killer cells (NK-cells) are believed to play an essential role in the immune surveillance against tumors and infectious diseases. The role of NK-cells in colon cancer remains obscure, since increased as well as decreased percentages and/or activity of NK-cells in comparison to control patients have been reported. Percentage and cytolytic activity of NKcells in the peripheral blood were analyzed in 42 patients with colon cancer before surgery and one year thereafter in comparison to control patients with non-malignant diseases. Patients without distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis displayed a significantly increased percentage of NK-cells as well as sustained NK-cell activity in the peripheral blood prior to surgery when compared to control patients. In contrast, patients with metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis displayed significantly decreased NK-cell activity in the peripheral blood when compared to control patients. One year after surgery, patients who remained free of metastasis still displayed sustained NK-cell activity, whereas patients who developed metastasis presented with profoundly decreased levels of NK-cell activity. Further analysis of these patients revealed that patients who developed metastasis within the first year after surgery already displayed reduced NK-cell activity prior to curative colorectal surgery. These observations indicate that metastatic spread of colorectal cancer is associated with decreased NK-cell activity. It remains speculative whether decreased NK-cell activity precedes the development of metastasis and thus may help to identify patients with a high risk of rapid tumor progression following curative colorectal surgery.
Subject Headings: colon cancer
cytolytic activity
natural killer cells
Issue Date: 2007-01-15
Appears in Collections:Original Articles

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