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J Immunol. 1987 Feb 1;138(3):989-95.

Identification of specific cytolytic immune responses against autologous tumor in humans bearing malignant melanoma.


Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from six patients with metastatic malignant melanoma were expanded by culture in recombinant interleukin 2. Three of the preparations were highly cytotoxic against autologous fresh melanoma tumor cells, but not against autologous fresh normal cells or allogeneic fresh tumor targets. The other three were highly cytotoxic against autologous fresh melanoma tumor cells and also had a limited capacity to kill allogeneic fresh tumor targets. The tumor-associated specific killer cells could be expanded from threefold to 95,652-fold with maintenance of specific antitumor lysis. The expanded tumor-infiltrating cells were Leu-4+ T cells, and in five of six patients the majority were Leu-3+. These studies demonstrate that the melanoma-bearing patient raises an immune response against autologous tumor and presents a method for the generation of human lymphocytes with antitumor reactivity that may be useful in the adoptive immunotherapy of tumors.

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