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Eur Urol. 2001 Oct;40(4):427-33.

Human accessory cells activate fresh, normal, tumor-distant T lymphocytes but not tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes to lyse autologous tumor cells in a primary cytotoxic T lymphocyte assay in renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Vienna, Austria.



Search for an ideal responder T-lymphocyte source for adoptive T-lymphocyte therapy in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).


Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity of (a) normal, tumor-distant, renal T lymphocytes, (b) tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and (c) peripheral blood T lymphocytes against autologous tumor epithelial cells (EC) of 10 patients with organ-confined, primary RCC was analyzed in a primary CTL assay. Freshly enriched T lymphocytes were cultured with or without autologous, mitomycin-C-treated normal or tumor EC in the presence or absence of antigen-presenting cells (APC) for 7 days.


Both tissue T-lymphocyte populations displayed a similar CD4:CD8 ratio (1:1). Elevated CD62L coexpression of CD4+ T lymphocytes in normal, tumor-distant, renal tissue resulted in a significantly higher transient T-cell activation than that seen in renal tumor tissue (46 vs. 27%; p = 0.002). All trials to induce significant lysis of autologous, renal tumor EC in tumor-infiltrating and peripheral blood T lymphocytes failed. Only when normal, tumor-distant, renal T lymphocytes were stimulated by autologous APC and tumor EC was significant autologous tumor EC lysis obtained (mean 14%; p<0.05). Costimulation by anti-CD3 (mean 21%; p<0.05) or interleukin-2 (mean 31%; p<0.05) further increased tumor EC lysis significantly.


Increased turnover of T lymphocytes in normal, tumor-distant, renal tissue was associated with a higher yield of pre-CTL which can be transformed into a functionally active effector T-cell pool by stimulation via antigen plus APC. Thus, tumor-distant renal tissue has to be included in the tissue-sampling procedure for adoptive immunotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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