Immunoregulation Of Lung Cancer by Natural Killer Cells
Research has shown that different strains of mice possess varying susceptibility to lung
cancer. C3H and C57BL6 mice are highly resistant to lung cancer, whereas A/J and 129 mice
are very susceptible to lung cancer. Data from our lab shows that the mice have different
numbers of natural killer (NK) cells as well as different characteristics of those cells.
C3H and C57BL6 mice have higher numbers of NK cells as well as higher expression of CD11b,
whereas A/J and 129 mice have lower numbers and lower expression.
These findings justify parallel investigation of NK cells in human populations resistant and
susceptible to lung cancer. Through blood samples, circulating NK cells can be counted and
phenotypically analyzed. Smoking can be used as a factor to establish lung cancer risk.
Additionally, non-smokers suffering from lung cancer provide an opportunity to investigate
whether lung cancer patients have lower abundance of NK cells and lesser expression of
CD11b, independent of the effects of smoking.
The main goal of this study is to investigate the quantitative and phenotypic differences in
circulating NK cells among human populations. Participants will be classified as heavy
smokers (HS), non-smokers (NS), those suffering from lung cancer (LC), and those free from
lung cancer (NC).
Hypothesis #1: NS/LC participants will have fewer NK cells and lower expression of CD11b
compared to HS/NC and NS/NC participants.
Hypothesis #2: NS/LC participants will have more numerous NK cells and higher expression of
CD11b compared to HS/LC participants.
Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Prospective
Number of NK cells
The first outcome measure is the determination of the number of NK cells as a percentage of all CD45+cells.
Within 5 minutes of blood arrival to lab, processing begins and blood is frozen. Flow cytometry will be completed 1 to 3 months after blood is frozen. Data presentation in 1 to 2 years.
Alexander S Krupnick, MD
Washington University School of Medicine
United States: Institutional Review Board
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