Lower relapse rates after neighbourhood injection of Corynebacterium parvum in operable cervix carcinoma

Br J Cancer. 1981 Dec;44(6):856-62. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1981.284.


The effect of adjuvant immunotherapy with a single neighbourhood injection of 2 mg C. parvum (CP) was investigated in a randomized study involving 43 patients with carcinoma of the cervix uteri, all of whom were treated by radical surgery. All patients had carcinoma confined to the cervix, the upper part of the vagina or the parametrial region. When the malignancy had spread to the parametrial region, additional postoperative radiotherapy was given. 22 patients received immunotherapy 10 days before surgery, whereas the remaining 21 control patients received no immune stimulation. Only minor side effects of CP were encountered. Follow-up shows a relapse rate of 5% in the CP treated group and of 29% in the controls (P less than 0.05). A further 15 patients with more advanced malignancies were added to our studies. In these, CP stimulation had no effect on relapse rates, but the relapse-free intervals were longer after immune stimulation: control 3.5 months (mean) +/- 1.5 (s.d.), CP 13.0 months +/- 7.0 (P less than 0.05). The number of peripheral T cells and the ability to become sensitized to DNCB were increased after CP stimulation. A decrease was found in the number of blood monocytes and the number of monocytes capable of transforming into active macrophages, indicating a possible sequestration of these cells in the tissues.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes
  • Propionibacterium acnes / immunology*
  • Recurrence
  • Rosette Formation
  • Skin Tests
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Bacterial Vaccines