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A quantitative and qualitative study of blood monocytes in patients with bronchogenic carcinoma

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Absolute circulating number and functions of blood monocytes (i.e., pinocytosis, phagocytosis, and chemotaxis) were studied in 25 patients with untreated bronchogenic carcinoma and in 28 control subjects. The absolute circulating monocyte count was increased in 20 (80%) of the patients. There was no difference in the pinocytic and phagocytic activity of patient and control monocytes. In contrast, patient monocytes showed depressed chemotactic responsiveness. This defect was more severe in small cell anaplastic carcinoma than in the other histologic types of bronchogenic carcinoma (P=0.001), and may explain the difference in macrophage infiltration seen in solid tumours of the lung. There was no correlation between chemotaxis and clinical stage. Depressed chemotaxis may be related to a plasma factor, since patient plasma inhibited the chemotaxis of control monocytes as well as the activity of chemotactic agents. The defective chemotaxis and the presence of plasma inhibitory activity may interfere with the ability of blood monocytes to accumulate as macrophages in tumour sites.

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Correspondence to Jørgen Bennedsen.

Additional information

Abbreviations used in this paper are: MCR, monocyte chemotactic response; SAC, small cell anaplastic bronchogenic carcinoma; OBC, non-small cell bronchogenic carcinoma MEM, Eagle's minimal essential medium; CFI, chemotactic factor inhibitor(s); HSA, human serum albumin

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Nielsen, H., Bennedsen, J., Larsen, S.O. et al. A quantitative and qualitative study of blood monocytes in patients with bronchogenic carcinoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother 13, 93–97 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00205307

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  • Clinical Stage
  • Histologic Type
  • Tumour Site
  • Phagocytic Activity
  • Blood Monocyte