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Anticancer Res. 1993 Sep-Oct;13(5C):1789-92.

Modulation of lectin-triggered superoxide release from neutrophils of tumor patients with and without chemotherapy.

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Abteilung Glykobiochemie und Angewandte Tumorlektinologie, Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie, Phillips, Universität, Marburg, Germany.


Superoxide production by neutrophils is believed to contribute to the efficiency of the host defence system. This activity is stimulated by the mannose-specific lectin concanavalin A, the N-acetylglucosamine/neuraminic acid-specific wheat germ agglutinin and the galactoside-specific lectins from Viscum album and human placenta. To assess whether this aspect of immune function is affected in cancer patients without or with treatment, neutrophil preparations from 69 patients were examined. Reductions in O2.(-)-production were observed for bronchial carcinoma patients after incubation with concanavalin A and the human lectin, while samples from breast cancer patients without or with treatment exhibited no significantly altered activity in the presence of each of the four agglutinins. Chemotherapy of lung and colorectal carcinoma patients reduced the neutrophilic response to concanavalin A and Viscum album agglutinin. As similarly shown for 9 specimens from other carcinoma types and from hemopoietic malignancies, there is no general impairment of responsiveness. In addition to the property of the lectin, the large extent of interindividual variation should be taken into account when it is attempted to enhance this factor of the host defence system against infections and malignant cells.

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