Tumor-specific cytolysis by lymphocytes infiltrating human melanomas

S. L. Topalian, D. Solomon, S. A. Rosenberg

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473 Scopus citations


Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) were grown in IL-2 from single cell tumor suspensions of 14 human melanomas resected from 12 patients. As a function of time in culture, 4 of 14 TIL cultures eventually expressed highly specific cytolytic activity against fresh autologous melanoma targets in short term chromium release assays, failing to lyse multiple allogeneic tumors or autologous normal cells. These highly specific TIL were identified as CTL by phenotype (CD3+/CD4-/CD8+/Leu-7-) and by function (lysis inhibited by antibodies directed against CD3 and MHC class I molecules). Cell separation experiments using immunomagnetic beads identified a highly tumor-specific CTL subpopulation within a nonspecific TIL culture, suggesting that the lytic activity of tumor-specific CTL may be diluted by the nonspecific killer activity present in heterogeneous TIL cultures. These studies provide evidence for specific MHC-restricted human immune responses against autologous tumor in cancer-bearing patients, and may be of importance to ongoing clinical trials using TIL in the immunotherapy of advanced malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3714-3725
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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