Article

The therapy of malignant melanoma with transfer factor

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Abstract

Much indirect evidence indicates that immunologic factors may play a role in malignant melanoma. Antibodies against melanoma cells have been shown to be present in serum in a high percentage of patients with melanoma, especially those with localized disease.1, 2 Hellström et al3 have shown that lymphocytes of patients with melanoma, of their close relatives, and of a surprisingly large number of Blacks have a cytotoxic effect on cultured melanoma cells. Clinical remissions have been induced by cross-transplantation of melanoma tumor and sensitized lymphocytes.4 Spontaneous regressions have been documented in malignant melanoma.5 There have been scattered reports that blood transfusions from patients whose melanoma has undergone regression sometimes induce a tumor response in other patients with melanoma.6 Studies have also shown a common tumor antigen on melanoma cells.1, 7

Of the two types of immunity, humoral (mediated by bursal equivalent derived B cell lymphocytes) and cellular (mediated by thymus derived T cell lymphocytes), it seems that the cellular or T cell response is the tumoricidal one in malignant melanoma.8, 9 Thus, it is conceivable that induction or increase i n cellular immunity might increase the host's ability to destroy the tumor. In 1954 Lawrence10 noted that the constituents of disrupted lymphocytes were capable of transferring delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity in man. The active principle responsible for this phenomenon is called transfer factor. It is soluble, dialyzable, lyophilizable, and has a molecular weight of less than 10,000.11 It is not an immunoglobulin, nor is it immunogenic. Transfer factor is able to convert


 

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