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J Neuroimmunol. 1989 Dec;25(2-3):93-108.

Immunology of central nervous system tumors.

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Laboratoire de Neuropathologie, Faculté de Médecine, Marseilles, France.


With progress in cellular immunology and the development of hybridoma technology, the idea of manipulating host-tumor immune interactions to improve the prognosis of brain tumors has aroused renewed interest. Although no brain tumor-specific antigens have been found, and in spite of the wide antigenic heterogeneity of brain tumor cells, some monoclonal antibodies possessing restricted specificity have been isolated and their potential clinical applications investigated. One of the most pronounced changes in the cellular immune responses of brain tumor patients is a profound depression of the T4-helper lymphocytes. Clinical and laboratory trials are under way to assess the ability of lymphokines, such as gamma-interferon or interleukin-2, to restore immunologic competence in these patients and potentiate a specific anti-tumor immunologic response. Recent work suggests that the endothelium-astrocyte complex may have a pivotal role in assisting the escape of brain tumors from the host's immunologic responses, since it is responsible for the intracerebral sequestration of antigens and local anti-tumor responses. In this review, the data on the antigenic properties of central nervous system tumors and the host's humoral and cellular immune responses to them are analyzed and potential immunologic therapies are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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