Surgery Today

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 669–674 | Cite as

Natural killer activity and serum immunosuppressive acidic protein levels in esophageal and gastric cancers

  • Masaaki Oka
  • Hitoshi Mitsunaga
  • Shoichi Hazama
  • Shigefumi Yoshino
  • Takashi Suzuki
Original Articles


The natural killer (NK) activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and serum immunosuppressive acidic protein (IAP) levels were examined in patients with esophageal or gastric cancer, before and after surgery. Patients with stage IV esophageal or stage IV gastric cancer had significantly lower NK activity (39.5±14.8% and 37±11.6%, respectively), and also higher serum IAP levels (778±264 μg/mL and 633±156 μg/mL, respectively), than the corresponding control values (50±5.6% and 375±26 μg/mL, respectively). Patients with esophageal or gastric cancer who underwent curative resection had high NK activity (54.8±11.6% and 54.8±8.0%, respectively), and low IAP levels (471±116 μg/mL and 490±42 μg/mL, respectively), compared with those who underwent non-curative resection. Patients who underwent non-curative resection had lower NK activity and higher serum IAP levels than those who underwent curative resection, even 1 month after surgery. Mononuclear cells in the regional lymph nodes and tumor specimens showed significantly lower NK activity than those in the peripheral blood and spleen. Thus, NK activity and the IAP level reflected the immunocompetence, clinical course, and surgical curability of those patients. NK cells appeared not to have any significant antitumor activity in the regional lymph nodes or in the tumor itself, although they were still active in the peripheral blood.

Key Words

esophageal carcinoma gastric carcinoma natural killer cell immunosuppressive acidic protein 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaaki Oka
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Mitsunaga
    • 1
  • Shoichi Hazama
    • 1
  • Shigefumi Yoshino
    • 1
  • Takashi Suzuki
    • 1
  1. 1.The Second Department of SurgeryYamaguchi University School of MedicineUbe YamaguchiJapan

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