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J Exp Med. 2003 Dec 1;198(11):1753-7. Epub 2003 Nov 24.

Vigorous premalignancy-specific effector T cell response in the bone marrow of patients with monoclonal gammopathy.

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Most approaches targeting the immune system against tumors have focused on patients with established tumors. However, whether the immune system can recognize preneoplastic stages of human cancer is not known. Here we show that patients with preneoplastic gammopathy mount a vigorous T cell response to autologous premalignant cells. This preneoplasia-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response is detected in freshly isolated T cells from the BM. T cells from myeloma marrow lack this tumor-specific rapid effector function. These data provide direct evidence for tumor specific immune recognition in human preneoplasia and suggest a possible role for the immune system in influencing the early growth of transformed cells, long before the development of clinical cancer.

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