Project Details


Immunotherapy offers an attractive approach to the control of cancer.
Passive immunotherapy with specifically sensitized cells holds particular
promise, but requires the ability to consistently develop large numbers of
lymphoid cells capable of eliminating the tumor in vivo and an
understanding of T cell functions and interactions. Newly developed
methods for isolation, characterization, expansion, long-term growth and
cloning of lymphoid cells in culture, make it possible to achieve these
goals. Reliable experimental models are now required to test and refine
this potentially very valuable mode of treatment and determine its
applicability to naturally occurring, established cancers.

In an unique model system developed in our laboratory, acute leukemia in
mice undergoes predictable, immunologically-mediated, spontaneous
regression. Normal T cell and macrophage functions are essential for
regression to occur. In a consistent fraction of clinically regressed
animals, the leukemia spontaneously recurs. Under support of this grant,
we have shown that leukemia regression can be efficiently induced in
progressor leukemia mice by transfer of in vitro cultured T cells that are
specifically reactive to virus/leukemia cell antigens. This immunotherapy
is effective even in fully leukemic animals and requires no concurrent or
prior adjunctive treatment such as irradiation or cytotoxic drugs. Helper
Lyt 1+ cells are implicated in causing permanent disease cures, while
cytotoxic Lyt 2+ cells cause temporary leukemia remissions.

The aims of the present study include: complete characterization of the
effector cells, their antigenic specificity and mechanism of action in
vivo; determination of the involvement of lymphokines in successful
immunotherapy; and development and characterization of effective
immunotherapeutic protocols for prevention and treatment of leukemic
recurrence, the outstanding problem in cancer management.
Effective start/end date12/31/8912/31/89


  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Cancer Institute


  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology


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