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Cancer Res. 1993 Dec 1;53(23):5613-6.

Loss of T-cell receptor zeta chain and p56lck in T-cells infiltrating human renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.


Cancer patients and mice bearing tumors develop a progressive immunosuppression manifested by a decreased delayed-type hypersensitivity, decreased T-cell lytic activity, diminished production of lymphokines, and a reduced T-cell proliferative response. The mechanisms underlying these changes are incompletely understood. We recently reported the presence of marked alterations in signal transduction in T-cells from mice bearing long-term (28-day) tumours. We hypothesized that a soluble product produced by the tumor or resulting from the immune response to tumor might be responsible for inducing the changes in T-cells. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from patients with renal cell carcinoma tested here showed, in 10 of 11 cases, a marked decrease in the expression of the T-cell receptor zeta chain and in p56lck tyrosine kinase. The presence of major alterations in the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes with only minor changes in the peripheral blood leukocyte T-cells supports the notion that the defects are induced by exposure to tumor. These results suggest that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes may be compromised in their antitumor efficacy in patients with renal cell cancer.

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