The Significance of Circulating Immune Complexes in Patients with Malignant Melanoma

  • T. M. Phillips
  • W. D. Queen
  • M. G. Lewis


There is increasing evidence that malignancy in both humans and experimental animal models can elicit the formation of host-mediated immune reactions directed against the growing neoplasm (Aoki et al., 1976; Klein, 1975; Mastrangelo et al., 1974; Old et al., 1968). It is thought that the basis for the promotion of these reactions is configurational changes in glycosylated proteins and lipids of the tumor-cell plasma membrane that distinguish them as being different and therefore antigenic. However, if such immune reactions can be promoted, then the question still remains: why cannot the host control the growth of the tumor and the course of the disease? Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain this situation, such as the possibility that the tumor antigens are weak and do not elicit a strong host reaction, that tumor antigen-shedding may “soak up” the antibody in the form of circulating immune complexes, and that there are present circulating “blocking factors” that interact with the various components of the host’s immune system and block their reactivity. Such blocking factors have also been cited as being circulating immune complexes that are able to react with and neutralize primed lymphocytes (Baldwin et al., 1972; Baldwin and Robbins, 1976; Hellström et al., 1969; Hellström and Hellström, 1970; Pyrhonen et al., 1976; Sjögren et al., 1971).


Immune Complex Human Malignant Melanoma Raji Cell Autologous Tumor Cell Circulate Immune Complex 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. M. Phillips
    • 1
  • W. D. Queen
    • 1
  • M. G. Lewis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineGeorge Washington Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Stritch School of MedicineLoyola UniversityMaywood, ChicagoUSA

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