Most tumor-host interactions occur through the cytokines released by tumor cells and/or tumor-infiltrating leukocytes. Local exogenous administration of cytokines (especially by gene transfer) may result in tumor inhibition. However, cytokine gene transfer as an approach to curing cancer is not without many biases, which are discussed here. The methodology focuses on the detection of cytokines in situations in which few cells are available or ex vivo tissue must be examined, as occurs in studies of tumor-host interactions and when such interactions are modulated by immunological interventions.
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