Resistance of tumour-bearing mice to a second tumour challenge, that is concomitant resistance, was evaluated in euthymic and nude mice using nine tumours with widely different degrees of immunogenicity. Two temporally separate peaks of concomitant resistance were detected during tumour development. The first one was exhibited only by small immunogenic tumours; it was tumour specific and mediated by classical immunological T-cell-dependent mechanisms. The second peak was shared by both immunogenic and non-immunogenic large tumours; it was non-specific, thymus independent and correlated with the activity of a serum factor (neither antibody nor complement) that inhibited the in vitro proliferation of tumour cells. This factor was eluted from a Sephadex G-15 column at fractions corresponding to a molecular weight of approximately 1000 Da and it was recovered from a high-performance liquid chromatography column in one peak presenting maximum absorption at 215 and 266 nm. The data presented in this paper suggest for the first time, to our knowledge, that in spite of the differences between immunogenic and non-immunogenic tumours, a common serum-mediated mechanism seems to underlie the concomitant resistance induced by both types of tumours at late stages of tumour development.
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Cancer and Metastasis Reviews (2014)