Previous studies have indicated that primary but not metastatic melanomas were able to stimulate the proliferation of autologous (Auto) peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) in 73% of cases. On the other hand, 57% of the metastatic melanomas were shown to be suppressive when melanoma cells (Me) were admixed with Auto-PBL stimulated with allogeneic (Allo) PBL or interleukin 2 (IL-2) at the beginning of a 6-day incubation period. Here, we report that the suppressive activity of Me is a functional characteristic associated with a particular stage of the disease. In fact, we found that none of the 11 primary tumors tested were able to inhibit the proliferative response of Auto-PBL to Allo-PBL or IL-2 at all the doses of tumor cells used. The generation of lymphocytes cytotoxic against Auto-Me or K562 was also not inhibited. Of the 11 primary tumors checked for suppression, 8 were able to stimulate Auto-PBL in a primary mixed lymphocyte tumor culture. We conclude that opposite functions, stimulation and inhibition of autologous lymphocyte responses are characteristics of primary and metastatic Me, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research