T-cell tumor elimination as a result of T-cell receptor-mediated activation

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Science  03 Jul 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4810, pp. 61-64
DOI: 10.1126/science.3037698


It has recently been shown that activation of murine T-cell hybridomas with antigen inhibits their growth in vitro. The "suicide" of these neoplastic T cells upon stimulation with antigen suggested the possibility that activation via the antigen-specific receptor could also inhibit the growth of neoplastic T cells in vivo. To test this, mice were subcutaneously inoculated with antigen-specific T-cell hybridomas and then treated intraperitoneally with antigen. Administration of the appropriate antigen immediately after inoculation with the T-cell hybridoma abrogated tumor formation; antigen administered after tumors had become established decreased the tumor burden and, in a substantial fraction of animals, led to long-term survival. The efficacy of antigen therapy was due to both a direct inhibitory effect on tumor growth and the induction of host immunity. These studies demonstrate the utility of cellular activation as a means of inhibiting neoplastic T-cell growth in vivo and provide a rationale for studying the use of less selective reagents that can mimic the activating properties of antigen, such as monoclonal antibodies, in the treatment of T-cell neoplasms of unknown antigen specificity.