, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 223-230

Clinico-pathological aspects of immunotherapy by intralesional injection of BCG cell walls or live BCG in bovine ocular squamous cell carcinoma

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Bovine ocular squamous cell carcinoma (BOSCC) of clinical stage I, mostly situated in the third eyelid, was chosen as a therapy model for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in humans. Block resection was found to be the best method of treatment. Regression was noticed in 19 out of 30 cows treated intratumourously with a single injection of live BCG or BCG cell wall vaccine, followed by recurrence in 8 cases. In 2 untreated cows, complete lasting regression occurred. Regression was significantly more frequently encountered in intratumourously treated cows than in controls. Regression was associated with a high mitotic index, severe infiltrating growth and small amounts of cellular (lymphoid) infiltration.

Metastasis was found in 14 out of 50 cows: 5 in 10 untreated controls, 8 in 30 BCG treated cows and 1 in 10 surgically treated cows. The growth rate of progressively growing untreated and of some treated tumours was not associated with the mitotic index nor with other morphological characteristics tested. The mitotic index was found to be higher in the deep infiltrating layer than in the superficial layer of the primary tumour, suggesting that a single biopsy is not sufficiently representative for cell kinetic studies.

Animals were maintained under the guidelines set forth by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Grant recipient of the Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds (The Netherlands Cancer Foundation)