Cellular immune reaction to human malignant melanoma and breast carcinoma cells

Silvana Canevari, Giuseppe Fossati, Giuseppe Della Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An in vitro microassay was used to study cytotoxic reactivity of lymphocytes of 19 patients with malignant melanoma, 8 patients with breast carcinoma, and 18 normal subjects on celt cultures of malignant melanoma and breast carcinoma. In each of the twelve experiments, peripheral blood lymphocytes from individuals with and without cancer were tested simultaneously on two or three different target cells. Cytotoxic reactivity, evaluated by a comparison of the number of target cells remaining after incubation with lymphocytes with those incubated with medium only, was found in 20 cancer patients (74%) and 13 individuals without cancer (72%). The strength of lymphocyte reactivity of the cancer and of the non-cancer group did not differ significantly. Of the 27 cancer patients, 8 were positive only on the homologous target cells, 7 only on the opposite cells, and 5 on both types; 7 were negative. Short-term melanoma cell cultures were more lysable than were established cell lines; however, no direct correlation between the growth rate during the test period and susceptibility to lysis was seen. The blood group of the lymphocyte donors had no influence on cytotoxic reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-709
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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