NK92-CD16 cells are cytotoxic to non-small cell lung cancer cell lines that have acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors


Treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has improved the outcomes for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring targetable driver mutations. However, acquired resistance to TKIs invariably develops within approximately 1 year of treatment by various mechanisms, including gatekeeper mutations, alternative pathway activation and histological transformations. Because immunotherapy is an option for patients with drug-resistant cancers, we generated several TKI-resistant NSCLC cell lines in vitro, and then evaluated the cytotoxicity of NK92-CD16 cells to these resistant cells.


TKI-resistant NSCLC cells (H3122CR1, H3122LR1, H3122CR1LR1, PC-9GR, PC-9ER, EBC-CR1 and EBC-CR2) were established from NCI-H3122 (EML4-ALK fusion), PC-9 (EGFR exon19 deletion) and EBC-1 (MET amplification) after continuous exposure to crizotinib, ceritinib, gefitinib, erlotinib and capmatinib. Expression of ligands for natural killer (NK) cell receptors and total EGFR were analyzed using flow cytometry. NK cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) using anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody (mAb) cetuximab were measured using NK92-CD16 as effectors and detected using the 51Chromium-release assay.


We found that NK92-CD16 cells preferentially killed TKI-resistant NSCLC cells when compared with their parental NSCLC cells. Mechanistically, intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) was up-regulated in the TKI-resistant NSCLC cells and patients' tumors, and the ICAM-1 up-regulated cancer cells lines were less susceptible to NK cytotoxicity by blocking ICAM-1. Moreover, NK92-CD16 cell-induced cytotoxicity toward TKI-resistant NSCLC cells was enhanced in the presence of cetuximab, an EGFR-targeting mAb.


These data suggest that combinational treatment with NK cell-based immunotherapy and cetuximab may be promising for patients with TKI-resistant NSCLC.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S1068 Crizotinib (PF-02341066) Crizotinib (PF-02341066) is a potent inhibitor of c-Met and ALK with IC50 of 11 nM and 24 nM in cell-based assays, respectively. It is also a potent ROS1 inhibitor with Ki value less than 0.025 nM. (226) (13)

Related Targets