The immune reaction as a stimulator of tumor growth

Science. 1972 Apr 14;176(4031):170-1. doi: 10.1126/science.176.4031.170.


Various numbers of spleen cells from specifically immunized mice were mixed with constant numbers of target tumor cells, and were inoculated subcutaneously into thymectomized, x-irradiated recipients. Small numbers of admixed immune spleen cells produced a statistically significant, and reproducible, acceleration of tumor growth in the inoculum as compared with controls of either nonimmune spleen cells or spleen cells from animals immune to a different, non-cross-reacting, tumor. Larger. numbers of specifically immune spleen cells, however, produced inhibition of tumor growth. These data imply that the normal immune reaction may have a dual function in relation to neoplasia: (i) stimulation of tumor growth, early in the course of the disease, or whenever the immune reaction is minimal; (ii) inhibition of tumor growth at other times.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / radiation effects
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunization
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Radiation Effects
  • Sarcoma, Experimental / immunology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology*
  • Thymectomy
  • Transplantation, Homologous