NK cell therapy

Non-targeted cell therapies in the form of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation have been used since the late 60´s, in Finland and in pediatrics since 1974. Targeted cell therapies in the form of CAR-T cells have been at our disposal since 2019 with the drawbacks of a lengthy production time and high cost as an autologous product.

​Allogeneic T-cells housing the risk of a GVH-reaction will not be available in the near future. Allogeneic NK cells demonstrating a high antileukemic potential without the risk of GVHD have emerged as a viable option in the cell therapy of many malignancies and, potentially, in the near future also as an off-the-shelf product for clinical use. They can also be manufactured from stored units of cord blood.

With the FRCBS housing an impressive track record in research on KIR-genetics, an established ability to produce ATMPs as well as a cord blood bank a multifaceted approach for the development of clinically employable NK cell products for clinical use was launched in 2018 aiming at the recruitment of the first patients in a clinical trial in late 2021.


Professor Kim Vettenranta, MD, PhD

Kim Vettenranta, MD, PhD, Professor of Cell Therapy and Transfusion Medicine at the University of Helsinki since IX/17. The co-PI (w docents Matti Korhonen and Erja Kerkelä) of the iCell project. Background in pediatrics with 30 years of clinical experience in pediatric hematology-oncology and stem cell transplantation. More than 150 peer-reviewed original papers with an h-index of 36 and i10 of 89 (Google Scholar III/21).

Post-doc at the Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1991-93 and sabbaticals thereafter at the University of Bristol, UK, and Johann-Wolfgang-von-Göthe Universität in Frankfurt, FRD. Member of the EBMT, EHA, ASH and COG. Three MD/PhD theses supervised and 5 ongoing.


Professor Urpu Salmenniemi, MD, PhD