Image-Guided Transcatheter Delivery of Natural Killer Cell Therapy Augmented with IFN-Gamma Eluting Microspheres

Project: Research project

Project Details


Most patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are treated with palliative liver-directed therapies; these therapies provide only modest improvements in survival and can be toxic to normal liver tissues. Many patients are not candidates for these therapies due to poor underlying liver function. Natural killer cells (NKs) constitute the first line of defense against invading infectious microbes and neoplastic cells. NKs exert an effector function independent of priming, destroying cancer cells by secreting cytotoxic lymphokines and disrupting the tumor vasculature. Adoptive transfer immunotherapy (ATI) with NK cells is a promising approach for the treatment of both hematopoietic malignancies and solid tumors. However, critical barriers must be overcome to achieve meaningful outcomes in solid tumors. A sufficient number of NK cells must migrate to tumors and infiltrate the tumor tissues to exert potent tumoricidal functions. The limited homing efficiency of NK cells to tumors tissues, following systemic administration, has inhibited clinical efficacy. HCC patients commonly undergo image-guided procedures wherein a catheter is selectively placed to deliver drugs directly into the arterial blood supply of the tumor(s). Targeted infusions afford significant reductions in systemic toxicity and delivery of potent doses of drugs and/or drug-eluting microspheres. We propose radically augmenting the homing efficiency of NK cells to HCC via a) image-guided transcatheter infusion directly into the blood supply of targeted liver tumor(s) and b) concurrent infusion of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) eluting microspheres visible in computed tomography (CT) imaging to strengthen the cytokine gradients that drive NK migration into the tumor tissues. Due to wide variations in effector cell homing efficiency, patient-specific dosimetry and prediction of tumor response can be difficult during these adoptive transfer immunotherapies. Serial in vivo monitoring of NK cell migration
Effective start/end date9/1/185/31/23


  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (5R01EB026207-04)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.