Understanding the immunity and capability of eliminating cancer cells
What is Natural Killer (NK) cell?
Natural Killer cell or NK cell in short is a type of white blood cell which is on the front line against microorganisms or mutated cells which may develop to be cancer cells. In short, weak NK cells mean susceptibility to infection and inability to prevent the initial development of cancer cells. There are several tests available to assess the viability of natural killer cell activities. This can be done by testing the immune functions against microorganisms and cancer cells.
Testing for Natural Killer (NK) cell activities
The test options would greatly depend on one’s health priority. If one focuses on immune functions or level of immunity against infections and cancer, testing for natural killer cell activities is definitely key.
Two types of Natural Killer (NK) cell activity tests
- Testing of blood cell activities against foreign bodies (NK Cell Activity): NK cell activity test requires a blood sample. NK cells in the blood are separated and cultured with cancer cells in a laboratory. The level of the NK cell activity against the cancer cells will be used as a benchmark. The efficacy is considered based on the number of eliminated cancer cells compared to the activity of standard cells.
- Immunity test: The test checks the quantity of substances released from the NK cells which reflects the response of one’s NK cells and status of the immune system:
- NK cell activity over 500 is considered strong immunity.
- NK cell activity lower than 500 is divided into: weak but acceptable immunity, deficient immunity and severe immunodeficiency.
For the most optimal assessment of NK cell activities, clients are normally recommended to undergo both tests. Each test has different procedures and provides different information in terms of quality and quantity. Both test results are required to assess the risk of cancer and other diseases. Taking the NK cell activity test can help you understand how well your body can defend itself against microorganisms or cancer. In addition, the result can be used as a form of guidance to manage patients’ condition or create a preventive pathway for anyone who is keen on great health.