PMID: 4119105Dec 1, 1972Paper

Serum mediated inhibition of the immunological reactions of the patient to his own tumour: a possible role for circulating antigen

British Journal of Cancer
G A Currie, C Basham

Abstract

In a microcytotoxicity assay the lymphocytes from cancer patients were tested on autologous and allogeneic tumour cells in vitro. In patients with a variety of tumours, extensive washing of the lymphocytes from those cases with advanced disease was found to greatly enhance their specific cytotoxic effects. This specificity was restricted to autologous tumour cells and allogeneic cells of similar histological origin. This cross-reacting cytotoxicity was not, however, universal, especially in cases of malignant melanoma. The cytotoxicity evoked by washing was abolished by the addition of the patient's serum. This serum effect showed a similar specificity to that found for lymphocyte cytolysis. The effect of washing, and the specific inhibitory effect of serum, was not detectable in early cases of primary malignant melanoma. The serum component responsible for inhibiting lymphocyte cytotoxicity had no detectable affinity for the target cells and appears to act on the lymphocyte surface, implying that tumour antigen may well be implicated.

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