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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1982;13(3):164-73.

Immunological studies in a double blind randomized trial comparing intrapleural BCG against placebo in patients with resected stage I non-small cell lung cancer.


Immunological data were obtained during the course of a randomized trial comparing intrapleural BCG plus oral isoniazid (INH) with intrapleural saline plus oral placebo after resection of stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Immunological testing with a variety of assays was carried out with good standardization among six collaborating laboratories and with good reproducibility within each laboratory. Those patients with larger tumors tended to have higher initial white cell counts. The percentage of lymphocytes in the differential was greatest in those with non-squamous cancer histology. Otherwise, no associations were found between initial immunologic parameters and baseline variables. The main effect of BCG/INH therapy was to cause statistically significant increases in purified protein derivative (PPD) skin test induration and PPD in vitro blastogenesis compared with controls. Other skin tests and in vitro assays increased more in the saline/placebo control group, but these treatment differences were usually not statistically significant. Initial white count and neutrophil count elevations were found to be associated with increased risk of recurrence. Even after adjustment for treatment and tumor stage, initial neutrophil count elevation was associated with increased risk of recurrence. Surprisingly, a low 29 degrees C T cell rosette index was associated with a decreased risk of recurrence, though the differences were minimal. Serial immunological tests were carried out to evaluate their potential for monitoring disease recurrence. White count elevations continued to be significantly associated with increased risk of recurrence, but more follow-up data are needed before other associations can be assessed.

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