ISPO

Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1995; 19(6):494-502.

Suppression of Natural Killer Cell Activity by Serum Derived From Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Hirobumi Kumazawa, M.D.a, Masayuki Minamino, M.D.a, Naoya Yukawa, M.D.a, and Markus Hess, M.D.b

a Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan, and b Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Berlin Free University, Berlin, Germany

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Hirobumi Kumazawa, M.D., Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kansai Medical University, Fumizonocho- 1, Moriguchi City, Osaka 570, Japan.

ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in many immune functions, including the lysis of tumor cells. In this. study, we analyzed the influence of serum from 40 patients with head and neck cancer on NK cell activity using a double-layer agar assay. NK cell activity can be expressed as the inhibitory effect of NK cells on colony growth of K562 cells in the double-layer agar assay. When serum from cancer patients was added in this assay, we observed the reduction of the inhibitory activity of NK cells, not only of autologous NK cells but also of allogeneic NK cells in 24 out of 40 patients. In addition, we compared the TNM staging and survival rate between the reduction group and no-reduction group of NK cell activity. These results suggest that the serum of some patients with head and neck cancer may be an inhibitory factor on NK cell activity and may be involved in host resistance to tumor growth.

KEY WORDS: serum of head and neck cancers, natural killer cell activity, clonogeneic assay.

http://www.cancerprev.org/Journal/Issues/19/6/101