Deficient concanavalin-A-induced suppressor cell activity in women with untreated breast cancer
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 14 women with untreated breast cancer and 5 patients with non-malignant breast disease were studied for concanavalin-A (Con A) inducible suppressor activity against proliferative response of lymphocytes to phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Six of 14 patients with breast cancer demonstrated deficiency of suppressor cell activity against proliferation of autologous lymphocytes to PHA. This is in contrast to only 1 of 5 patients with benign breast disease who demonstrated deficiency of inducible suppressor activity. No correlation was observed between the deficiency of suppressor cells and the presence or absence of metastasis in the regional lymph nodes. The significance of these observations is discussed.