About Oncology

Immuno-oncology is an emerging field that has revolutionized cancer treatment. Most immunomodulatory strategies focus on enhancing T cell responses, but there has been a recent surge of interest in harnessing the relatively underexplored natural killer (NK) cell compartment for therapeutic interventions. NK cells show cytotoxic activity against diverse tumour cell types, and some of the clinical approaches originally developed to increase T cell cytotoxicity may also activate NK cells. Moreover, increasing numbers of studies have identified novel methods for increasing NK cell anti-tumour immunity and expanding NK cell populations ex vivo, thereby paving the way for a new generation of anticancer immunotherapies. The role of other innate lymphoid cells (group 1 innate lymphoid cell (ILC1), ILC2 and ILC3 subsets) in tumours is also being actively explored.


Natural killer cells and other innate lymphoid cells in cancer. Nature Reviews Immunology volume 18, pages671–688 (2018)


ILC Therapeutics™ have developed and patented a number of synthetic peptides that modulate the Innate Immune response including NK cells in the tumour microenvironment. Data from one of our compounds on NK (ILC 1 Group) cells is being presented at a 2019 Keystone Symposium. There is a growing understanding of how modulating the innate immune response can play a key part in successful cancer therapies.

NK and ILC 1 Effects


Natural Killer Cells and ILC 1 cells play a pivotal role in attacking cancer cells. Our lead peptides have been shown to enhance the ability of NK cells to kill target cells and produce IFNγ. They also promote the accumulation and survival of proliferating NK cells by the induction of IL-15. They also activate the production of other cytokines by NK cells.