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Active specific immunotherapy of residual micrometastasis

An evaluation of sources, doses and ratios of BCG with tumor cells

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A vaccine of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) admixed with tumor cells induced systemic immunity and had a therapeutic effect on subclinical, disseminated micrometastasis. Inbred strain-2 guinea-pigs given IV injections of 5×103 to 106 syngeneic L10 hepatocarcinoma cells were vaccinated after metastatic foci were established in the lung parenchyma. The purpose of this study was to establish the variables that can be manipulated to assure optimal immunotherapy while minimizing deleterious side effects of the BCG. In the present study we examined the variables of source, dose, and ratio of BCG to tumor cells. Four BCG sources (lyophilized Tice and Connaught; fresh-frozen Phipps and Tice) were compared. No significant differences among these BCG preparations could be detected with respect to adjuvant potential when they were admixed with attenuated tumor cells in a vaccine. The dose study clearly demonstrated that a BCG dose dependency exists with relation to induction of effective cell-mediated immunity or survival from disseminated micrometastatic disease. Furthermore, evaluations of dose versus ratio of BCG to tumor cells also supported a BCG dose dependency, with the lowest effective BCG dose being directly influenced by tumor burden of the host. Cutaneous reactivity and hypersensitivity of the primary and secondary immunization sites of tumor-bearing animals treated with effective and ineffective vaccines supported the direct association of reaction to BCG and specific tumor immunity. However, when an in vitro leukocyte migration inhibition assay was used, the degree of reactivity to BCG could not be exploited as a quantitative, diagnostic monitor of effective systemic tumor immunity.

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Correspondence to M. G. Hanna Jr..

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Hanna, M.G., Brandhorst, J.S. & Peters, L.C. Active specific immunotherapy of residual micrometastasis. Cancer Immunol Immunother 7, 165–173 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00199194

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  • Leukocyte Migration
  • Tumor Immunity
  • Specific Immunotherapy
  • Micrometastatic Disease
  • Migration Inhibition