Macrophage-mediated destruction of human malignant cells in vivo.


Mansell PW, Ichinose H, Reed RJ




J Natl Cancer Inst


Macrophages require a plasma component, designated "recognition factor" (RF), for the expression of optimal function. The RF activity was profoundly depleted in plasma from patients with malignant disease, and the degree of depletion and the severity of the malignant state seemed to be related. Since experiments demonstrated that an active RF significantly inhibited tumor growth, clinical studies were initiated to investigate the influence of intratumor administration of an active RF fraction. Glucan, a potent macrophage activator, was also employed alone or combined with RF. These studies were undertaken to enhance the recognition of malignant cells by macrophages and to mobilize and activate macrophages intralesionally. The initial 9 patients studied had malignant melanoma, adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung, or carcinoma of the breast. Control and experimental lesions were injected; subsequently biopsies were performed at varying intervals for histologic evaluation. Always when glucan or glucan and RF fraction were administered intralesionally, the size of the lesion was strikingly reduced in as short a period as 5 days. This reduction was associated with necrosis of the tumor and a monocytic infiltrate. In small lesions, resolution was complete, whereas in large lesions, resolution was partial. The amount of glucan injected and the quantity of residual tumor appeared to be related. The induced necrosis of the tumor nodule was associated with an increase in plasma levels of circulating RF activity.