Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In a direct leukocyte migration test, peripheral blood leukocytes were pulsed with a high dose (2.5 and 0.5 mg/ml) of 3 M KCl extracts from 5 different colorectal tumours as well as with one 3 M KCl extract of normal colonic mucosa. Patients showing a pathological migration index (⩽0.80 and ⩾1.17), with 3 or more out of 5 tumour extracts, were considered as “positives”. With this test mode 93% (55/59) of patients with colorectal carcinomas were reactive, irrespective of the tumour stage, while only 7% (2/27) of patients with non-malignant colorectal diseases showed a “positive” reaction. Patients with malignant and non-malignant diseases of other organs were reactive in 2–3% of cases. No “positive” reactivity was observed with leukocytes from 37 healthy volunteers. Pulsing leukocytes with the normal colonic mucosal extract, a pathological migration index was found in about 20% of colorectal cancer patients, but not in healthy volunteers. Evaluating 10 single tumour extracts individually, reactivity of cancer patients' leukocytes ranged from 65–89% of tests, the difference being not statistically significant. Leukocytes from healthy volunteers showed a pathological migration index with the different extracts in 0–6% of tests. With the leukocyte migration test we could not differentiate between tumours of the colon, sigma or rectum. Patients bearing tumours in any part of the large bowel showed pathological leukocyte migration with extracts of colon-, sigma- and rectum tumours. When the cross-reactivity study was extended to tumours of the gastrointestinal tract, it was found that patients with colorectal tumours were reactive, in a high percentage of tests, with extracts of gastric tumours, but gastric as well as oesophageal and pancreatic cancer patients' leukocytes only reacted occasionally with colorectal tumour extracts. In the follow-up study, a “positive” reactivity was still found 10–14 days after surgery in 27/31 patients. After more than 2 months, the frequency of “positive” reactivity decreased to 10/70 cases. Patients with local recurrence or metastases exhibited “positive” reactivity in 6/7 cases.
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