Limited heterogeneity in the T-cell receptor V-gene usage in lymphocytes infiltrating human colorectal tumours

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The presence of T lymphocytes in solid tumours may reflect an ongoing immune response against the transformed cells. We have used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to investigate the T-cell receptor variable-region gene (V-gene) usage in freshly isolated tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) to look for a possible oligoclonality of T cells in the tumour area. We used 19 different V beta-family-specific primers. Peripheral blood lymphocytes and lamina propria lymphocytes from the same patients were also tested by PCR. Our results demonstrate a limited heterogeneity in the V-gene usage of TILs from seven patients with colorectal cancers, suggesting a local antigen-driven immune response at the tumour site.

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