Papers And Originals

Postoperative Depression of Tumour-directed Cell-mediated Immunity in Patients with Malignant Disease

Br Med J 1972; 4 doi: (Published 14 October 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;4:67
  1. A. J. Cochran,
  2. W. G. S. Spilg,
  3. Rona M. Mackie,
  4. Catherine E. Thomas


    Leucocytes from 46 melanoma patients, 45 breast carcinoma patients, and 95 control donors were tested by the leucocyte migration test against the supernatants of homogenates of malignant melanomas, breast carcinomas, simple breast tumours, and breasts showing simple cystic disease. By comparison with controls inhibition of migration occurred significantly more frequently when tumour patients' leucocytes were exposed to extracts of histogenetically similar tumours.

    Cell-mediated immunity to tumour-associated antigens was measured in 12 patients with breast carcinoma and 12 with malignant melanoma immediately before surgical operation and in the postoperative period. All patients tested before operation showed significant inhibition of migration on contact with extracts of histogenetically similar tumours. Postoperatively the degree of leucocyte migration inhibition was reduced in all patients with melanoma and breast carcinoma. Significant inhibition of leucocyte migration returned in most patients 6-22 days after operation.