Abstract 4718

Improved experimental therapies are needed for Multiple Myeloma (MM). Despite major progress in treatment and initial induction of remission, myeloma remains an incurable disease. Although immunotherapy and, in particular, the employment of NK cells offers an approach of interest for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma (MM), recent studies have shown that myeloma cells utilise a number different mechanisms to impair NK and T cell functions. Important amongst these mechanisms is the reduced expression of CD80 in the sub-populations of PBMC isolated from myeloma patients.

We have previously demonstrated CD80/IL-2 mediated stimulation of NK and T cells isolated from AML patients (as measured by proliferation, cytokine release and target cell specific cytolytic activity). In the present study we have examined the ability of genetically modified MM cells engineered to express CD80 and IL-2 to stimulate NK cell functions. These studies confirm the ability of MM cells to suppress NK cell functions in healthy PBMC and show that in contrast to the unmodified MM cells, the CD80/IL-2 expressing MM cells are able to stimulate a moderate increase in NK and T cell numbers and a significant increase in the fraction of NK cells with activatory receptors (NKp44, NKp30, NKp46) and activation markers (CD69) on the cell surface of both NK and T cells. More importantly for potential therapeutic applications the stimulated NK cells show increased cytolytic activity against the unmodified MM cells.

This data suggest that CD80/IL-2 MM cells may be able to overcome the immune suppressive functions of unmodified MM cells and to stimulate NK, and T cell mediated responses against the unmodified MM cells. Therefore CD80/IL-2 expressing MM cells may provide a suitable cellular vaccine for NK cell stimulation and possibly the induction of broader ranging immunological responses against multiple myeloma cells.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

Sign in via your Institution