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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59995. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059995. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Immune cells from SR/CR mice induce the regression of established tumors in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Few experimental models are available for the study of natural resistance to cancer. One of them is the SR/CR (spontaneous regression/complete resistance) mouse model in which natural resistance to a variety of cancer types appeared to be inherited in SR/CR strains of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. The genetic, cellular, and molecular effector mechanisms in this model are largely unknown, but cells from the innate immune system may play a significant role. In contrast to previous observations, the cancer resistance was limited to S180 sarcoma cancer cells. We were unable to confirm previous observations of resistance to EL-4 lymphoma cells and J774A.1 monocyte-macrophage cancer cells. The cancer resistance against S180 sarcoma cells could be transferred to susceptible non-resistant BALB/c mice as well as C57BL/6 mice after depletion of both CD4+/CD8+ leukocytes and B-cells from SR/CR mice. In the responding recipient mice, the cancer disappeared gradually following infiltration of a large number of polymorphonuclear granulocytes and remarkably few lymphocytes in the remaining tumor tissues. This study confirmed that the in vivo growth and spread of cancer cells depend on a complex interplay between the cancer cells and the host organism. Here, hereditary components of the immune system, most likely the innate part, played a crucial role in this interplay and lead to resistance to a single experimental cancer type. The fact that leukocytes depleted of both CD4+/CD8+ and B cells from the cancer resistant donor mice could be transferred to inhibit S180 cancer cell growth in susceptible recipient mice support the vision of an efficient and adverse event free immunotherapy in future selected cancer types.

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