Identification of breast cancer transcortin and its inhibitory role in cell-mediated immunity


THE successful development and maintenance of a neoplastic malignancy is generally accepted to result from a temporary or lasting suppression of cell-mediated immune mechanisms. Many studies illustrate that whereas lymphocytes of a cancer patient are functionally sound, their participation in cell-mediated immune responses to an anti-genie neoplasm is abrogated by factors present in the plasma1. Among such factors identified are certain plasma proteins whose concentrations are markedly higher in the plasma of the cancer patient2. We have shown that the content of transcortin, the cortisol-binding protein of human plasma, is higher in patients with demonstrable cancer3, and since transcortin inhibits the response of human lymphocytes to phytohaemagglutinin4, a test generally accepted as demonstrative of active cell-mediated potential, we have attempted to study the relationship of such elevated levels of plasma transcortin to breast cancer.

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