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“Concomitant immunity” in murine tumours of non-detectable immunogenicity

British Journal of Cancervolume 51pages3748 (1985) | Download Citation



Various immunization assays were used to demonstrate the lack of immunogenicity of three BALB/c tumours of spontaneous origin and of a fourth one resulting from foreign body tumorigenesis. All four tumours inhibited the growth of a second implant of the same tumour into the contralateral flank. In our tumour models “concomitant immunity” (1) was not mediated by macrophage or T-cell dependent immune reactions: both thymectomized BALB/c and nude mice (treated or untreated with silica) gave the same results as intact mice; (2) showed some degree of non-specificity, inhibiting the growth of a different tumour in 3/4 cases; though, the existence of a specific component could not be discarded; (3) was proportional to the volume of the primary tumour at the time of the second challenge; (4) was dependent on actively growing primary tumour, not being obtained with progressively increasing daily inocula of irradiated tumour cells; (5) was detectable in an actively growing secondary tumour; recurrent growth after partial surgical excision was inhibited and (6) involved cytostasis of the secondary tumour: a syngeneic graft of the overlying skin led to tumour growth while histological studies revealed the presence of viable tumour cells. It is postulated that “concomitant immunity” or resistance can be generated without the active participation of the immune system and that tumour-related factors are, in certain cases, responsible for blocking the growth of secondary tumours.


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