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On down-regulation of the immune response to metastatic malignant melanoma.


Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE MED/99405747

Treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma with interferon alpha (IFNalpha) results in objective remission in approximately 15% of patients. In a previous investigation, we found that about 50% of the patients achieved at least minor or short-lived remissions. In some tumours extensive areas of regressive tumour change occurred. However, even in these areas remnants of tumour cells were generally found. The short duration of the immune response in some patients and the incomplete eradication of the tumour can be due either to selection of non-immunogenic tumour cells or to down-regulation of the immune reactivity to the tumour. In the present paper, the expression of the zeta chain of the T cell receptor in CD3+ lymphocytes and the expression of CD28 in CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes was studied in resectable melanoma metastases from 20 treated (IFNalpha or IFNalpha in combination with cisplatinum and dacarbazine) and 16 untreated patients. A double-staining technique was used, and the occurrence and distribution of lymphocytes showing down-regulation of the zeta chain or CD28 were separately registered in different areas of the metastases: close to the tumour cells in areas of unaffected tumour growth, in areas with regressive tumour changes, in areas with marked fibrosis and in stromal areas with densely packed lymphocytes. CD3+ zeta lymphocytes were found in all metastases, but their number and distribution varied considerably. Down-regulation of the zeta chain was most often found in areas of regressive changes. In contrast, T lymphocytes infiltrating close to the tumour cells had a stronger expression of the zeta chain (P = 0.016). Down-regulation was also found in stromal areas of densely packed lymphocytes and in areas of fibrosis. The pattern of down-regulation of CD28 in various subsets of lymphocytes was similar to that of zeta chain. The same pattern of down-regulation of CD28 and the zeta chain was found in both untreated and treated patients, indicating that the down-regulation is not due to treatment but to the release of immunosuppressor factors from areas with high tumour cell density or extensive destruction of tumour cells. These results concur well with the view that IFNalpha treatment can result in immune-mediated tumour cell destruction early in the treatment period and that this immune response to the tumour can be followed by immunosuppression within a few weeks.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Adult Aged Antibodies, Monoclonal/IMMUNOLOGY Antigens, CD28/ANALYSIS/IMMUNOLOGY Antigens, CD3/ANALYSIS/IMMUNOLOGY Antigens, CD80/ANALYSIS/IMMUNOLOGY Biological Markers CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/IMMUNOLOGY CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/IMMUNOLOGY Down-Regulation (Physiology) Female Genes, MHC Class II/*IMMUNOLOGY Human Immunoglobulins, gamma-Chain/IMMUNOLOGY Immunohistochemistry Macrophages/IMMUNOLOGY Male Melanoma/DRUG THERAPY/*IMMUNOLOGY/PATHOLOGY


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.