Role of autologous lymphocyte cytotoxicity in colonic neoplasia.
The T-lymphocyte mediated killing of autologous carcinoma colon cells was investigated. There was no change in the incidence of activity with advanced disease, age, or nutritional status of the patient and no difference could be demonstrated in lymphocytes extracted from blood, draining lymph nodes, or the tumour itself. Nevertheless. T-lymphocyte activity did appear to be specific for the patients's own tumour, as it was rarely observed with allogeneic tumours. There was also no correlation with lymphocyte natural killer activity. The in vitro studies demonstrated patient specific T-lymphocyte activity in 23 of 47 patients with carcinoma of the colon, but the results do not correlate with clinical and pathological findings.