NK and T cell interaction is a complex and very interesting subject. I have many references that I intend to post here in a sorted out fashion when I find the time.
Our bodies require NK - and certain T-cells to activate in order to fight "foreign" and "domestic" disease. But our bodies also require NK and certain T-cells to de-activate (or down regulate) when the crisis has past. Otherwise If NK and certain T-cells stay active following disease inflammation and other bad things can happen.
When our immune system fails to "shut down" when told to - we develop an autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is but one example. There are many others. Conversely, when our immune system fails to activate - we fall to disease and cancer. It is a delicate balance to keep our bodies ready for attack, but also under control after the attack is defeated.
All normal tissue cells of our bodies produce cytokines (proteins) that activate certain T-cells to keep the immune system in check. Think of it as a "stand down" order so that the paroling NK-cells and other kinds of T-cells don't attack healthy tissue. Unfortunately, cancer cells, which are not healthy tissue, know this trick and will put out these same cytokines to trick the body into "standing down". Fortunately, it takes a lot of cancer cells to get the upper hand on telling the body's defenses to stand down. When only a few cancer cells get started, they often self destruct (apoptosis) or they are attacked first before a foothold can get going. It is the T-cells that determine whether a tissue is attacked or allowed to grow. And it takes concentration of them for that to occur. Our tissues put out proteins "advising" these t-cells don't attack me. Cancer uses this mechanism to evade destruction often times.
The reason, I have come to understand and believe, that penetrating radiation can cause CML as well as other cancers is that high doses can generate many cancer cells all at once. And this sudden explosion in cancer cell population (leukemic stem cells come to mind) enable those very same cells to quash the bodies natural defense. Immune therapy is all about helping the body regain control and attacking bad cancer cells.
This is why I believe 50% of patients who try cessation after achieving rapid deep remission are successful in stopping therapy. Their TKI was able to reduce the CML population enough so that there is not enough cancer cells remaining (particularly the Leukemic stem cells) to produce enough T-cells to prevent attack. The body regains the upper hand and continues the process that the TKI's first achieved. The other 50%, for whatever reason, either require a much longer time or will never be able to fight CML without medical help.
This is all theory and conjecture, but based on what is emerging out of the scientific literature on the role of T-cells, NK cells and disease. It is an exciting area of research.
Diagnosed 11 May 2011 (100% FiSH, 155% PCR)
with b2a2 BCR-ABL fusion transcript coding for the 210kDa BCR-ABL protein
Sprycel: 20 mg per day - taken at lights out with Quercetin and/or Magnesium Taurate
6-8 grams Curcumin C3 complex.
2015 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
2016 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
March 2017 PCR: 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
June 2017 PCR: "undetected"
September 2017 PCR: "undetected"