NK Cells & Disease

Cancer

NK cell activity has been shown to be much lower in people with cancer. Nevertheless, if your doctor finds that your NK cell activity is very low, this does not mean you have cancer. Rather, it may signal that you are at higher risk for cancer or that you have an unrecognized infection. Your doctor will discuss your test results with you and decide (based on your family history, symptoms and risk factors) whether you should be retested or have additional tests.

The NK VUE blood test can help assess your immune system’s ability to fight disease, providing an early warning signal to trigger additional testing or lifestyle changes.

In the past few decades, many studies have demonstrated that NK cell activity is much lower in individuals with different types of cancers. NK cell activity has been shown to be lower in patients with the following kinds of cancer:

  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Colon
  • Lung
  • Ovarian

  • Stomach
  • Pancreatic
  • Testicular
  • Liver
  • Thyroid

  • Skin
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Tumors of the head and neck


NK cell activity tends to be lower in healthy individuals whose parents, siblings or other family members have cancer. This reality suggests that low NK cell activity is an important risk factor for the development of a variety of cancers. This theory has been confirmed in a study that followed more than 3000 people for a span of 11 years, and in which low NK cell activity was used to predict the risk of cancer.

People with a genetic predisposition to low NK cell activity may be at higher risk for developing cancer. Nevertheless, if NK cell activity is very low, this does not mean a patient has cancer. Rather, it may just signal of a higher risk for cancer or an unrecognized infection.

Your doctor will discuss your test results with you and decide (based on your family history, symptoms and risk factors) whether you should be retested or have additional tests.

Autoimmune Disease

Decreased NK cell activity has been observed in patients with various active autoimmune disease. Fluctuation in NK cell activity levels has been shown to correspond to remission and relapse in several autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

 

 

Diseases related to NK cell activity

 

 

Malignant tumors
Prostate cancer, blood cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, metastatic cancer
Infectious diseases
AIDS, hepatitis, cervical cancer
Autoimmune disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic diseases
Hyperlipidemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders
Pregnancy and recurrent spontaneous abortion
Diseases

 

 

Speak to your doctor to learn more about NK cell activity.

 

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