The Role of Cell-Surface Antigens in Progressive Tumor Growth (Immunological Surveillance Re-revisited)

  • Lionel A. Manson


There has been a massive effort mounted during the last decade to understand malignancy in immunobiological terms. One cannot say at present that there exists a consensus among workers in the field of tumor immunology as to the role, if any, that the immune systems of the host play in the emergence and expansion of a malignant clone to form a visible tumor that can then continue to grow, metastasize, and kill the host. The current status of knowledge in the field has been most succinctly stated by Möller and Möller (1979). They have summarized the evidence that supports the assumption that most if not all tumors are clonal in origin, and reviewed our understanding, or lack thereof, of the role of the immune system in progressive tumor growth. Their discussion revolves around the postulate that the role of the T-cell system is immunological surveillance, and that the emergence of a tumor is due to its failure. They conclude that this postulate is untenable in its present form. They have described the assumptions inherent in the theory as follows: “The only chance for tumors to appear is either when the T cell system has failed or when tumors possess very weak TSTA which are not efficiently recognized.”


Killer Cell Ascitic Fluid Ascitic Mass Progressive Tumor Growth Antigenic Modulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lionel A. Manson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and BiologyPhiladelphiaUSA

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