Effective Activity of Cytokine Induced Killer Cells against Autologous Metastatic Melanoma including Cells with Stemness Features

“Purpose: We investigate the unknown tumor-killing activity of Cytokine-Induced Killer (CIK) cells against autologous metastatic melanoma (mMel) and the elusive subset of putative cancer stem cells (mCSCs). Experimental Design: We developed a preclinical autologous model using same patient-generated CIK cells and tumor targets to consider the unique biology of each patient/tumor pairing. In primary tumor cell cultures we visualized and immunophenotipically defined a putative mCSC subset using a novel gene-transfer strategy that exploited their exclusive ability to activate the promoter of stemness gene Oct4.”