IntroductionNatural killer (NK) cells are large granular lymphocytes, which play a role in innate immunity, and are involved in the early defense against infections and tumors. NK cells of the innate immune system along with the adaptive immune system orchestrate the eradication of malignant cells. More specifically, NK cells link innate and cellular immunities through targeted cell death and release of chemokines and cytokines (innate immune system), as well as by helping adaptive immune cells in their targeted cell elimination (adaptive immune system). Interferon (IFN)‐γ is a major cytokine secreted from activated NK cells and exerts immune responses against cancer cells.The association between NK cell activity and cancer has been investigated for many decades, and a reduced NK cell activity has been known to be related with higher risk of cancer. A Japanese study including 3625 adults demonstrated that medium and high cytotoxic activity of peripheral blood lymphocytes was associated with reduced cancer risk (all sites), whereas low activity was associated with increased cancer risk, suggesting a role for natural immunological host defense mechanisms against cancer.Additionally, several studies have focused on the relationship between NK cell activity and colorectal cancer (CRC). Some studies have shown a decreased NK cell
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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