Clinical Impact of Percentage of Natural Killer Cells and Natural Killer-Like T Cell Population in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Esraa Jamal, Emad Azmy, Mohamed Ayed, Salah Aref, Noha Eisa


Background: Natural killer (NK) function defects have been seen in many hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is associated with deficient human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression on leukemia blasts which become targets for killing by NK and natural killer-like T (NKT) cells. However, NK and NKT cells are not effective in killing autologous leukemia blasts, maybe due to number or functional abnormalities. The aim of the work was to detect the number and percentage of NK and NKT cells in patients with AML and the impact of their percentage on the prognosis, response to treatment and survival.

Methods: Bone marrow and peripheral blood samples were collected from 50 adult patients diagnosed as de novo AML who presented to the Hematology Unit in the Oncology Center Mansoura University (OCMU) at time of diagnosis. NK and NKT cells were detected by using immunophenotyping by expression of cell surface and cytoplasmic markers (anti-CD3 fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), anti-CD16/56 phycoerythrin (PE)).

Results: We observed significant reduction in the median values of NK and NKT cells in AML patients in comparison to normal values. There was an insignificant correlation to response to induction treatment. While a significant correlation to overall survival (OS) (P = 0.03) was observed. The correlation to risk stratification was significant with NK cells (P < 0.001), but not with NKT cells (P = 0.23).

Conclusion: We concluded that the number and percentage of NK and NKT cells decreased significantly in AML patients and the frequency of NK and NKT cells is inversely proportionate with prognosis and OS in studied AML patients. We recommend correlating both number and function of NK and NKT cells in future studies to help provide a wide field of interest for possibility of demonstrating novel therapies using NK cells for curing AML.

J Hematol. 2020;9(3):62-70


AML; NK cells; NKT cells

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics

World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology

Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity

Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research

Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics






Journal of Hematology, bimonthly, ISSN 1927-1212 (print), 1927-1220 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                            
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:    editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.