Inconsistent response of B16 melanoma to BCG immunotherapy

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1976 Apr;56(4):803-10. doi: 10.1093/jnci/56.4.803.


We evaluated the potential of the B16 melanoma of mice as a model system for BCG immunotherapy of malignant melanoma. We studied a variety of treatment protocols: a) BCG given simultaneously but separately with a small number of B16 cells significantly inhibited tumor growth in only three of eight experiments. b) BCG injected directly into the tumor stimulated tumor growth in three of three experiments; the stimulation was at least partially attributable to the nutrient medium in which the BCG was suspended. c) The B16 tumor was weakly immunogenic and the addition of BCG to a tumor cell vaccine offered little improvement in subsequent resistance to tumor cell challenge: d) In a model of postsurgical residual tumor, metastatic to regional lymph nodes, BCG and tumor cell vaccination did not alter the development of nodal metastases. The B16 melanoma was not a useful model system for BCG immunotherapy, because the tumor inhibition was feeble, inconsistent, and not associated with augmented tumor immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • BCG Vaccine / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / surgery
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / surgery
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • BCG Vaccine