The adoptive transfer of ex vivo-expanded natural killer (NK) cells has recently been employed as an alternative cancer treatment in certain institutions. However, the safety profiles of this strategy remain uncharacterized. We evaluated three patients who exhibited elevated serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels without the relevant clinical manifestations and had a history of autologous NK cell therapy. The serum PTH concentration was measured using a second-generation PTH assay, and the serum thyroglobulin concentration was measured using a second-generation thyroglobulin assay. Subsequently, the PTH or thyroglobulin concentration obtained using heterophile-blocking tube (HBT) for a secondary confirmation assay was measured and compared with the result of the initial assay. The three patients had falsely elevated serum PTH and thyroglobulin levels owing to heterophile antibody interference associated with NK cell therapy that persisted for at least up to 12 months after the treatment and was confirmed by normalization of hormone levels after HBT treatment. We propose that certain types of mouse monoclonal antibodies used to stimulate NK cells can induce heterophile antibodies. Abnormal laboratory test results in individuals administered NK cell therapy without the relevant clinical manifestations must be examined in the context of heterophile antibody interference to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary testing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism