Analysis of T cell subsets in cancer patients treated with interferon Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Therapy
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunotherapy, Active
  • Interleukin-2
  • Melanoma
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • T cell subsets were analyzed in 33 patients with advanced cancer who were treated with either of two interferon preparations: a partially purified human leukocyte interferon (HulFN-alpha (Le] and a highly purified recombinant interferon (lFLrA). Included in the lFLrA-treated group were eight patients with immunodeficiency and Kaposi's sarcoma. The OKT4+/OKT8+ ratio was used to define the balance between helper/inducer and suppressor/cytotoxic T cell subsets. With both interferon preparations, the mean OKT4+/OKT8+ ratio decreased 24 hours after the first interferon dose. Within the HulFN-alpha (Le) group, the decrease in ratio was related to an increase in OKT8+ cells; in the lFLrA group, it was accompanied by a small decrease in the proportion of OKT4+ cells that was greater than the decrease in OKT8+ cells. Patients treated with lFLrA were followed for the first three weeks of therapy. Most patients treated with lFLrA at all dose levels, ranging from 1 X 10(6) to 54 X 10(6) units per day, had a decrease in OKT4+/OKT8+ ratio on Day 1. No substantial change in the ratio was observed on Days 7, 14, and 22. Patients with immunodeficiency and Kaposi's sarcoma had responses similar to those of patients with other cancers treated with lFLrA. In conclusion, although both HulFN-alpha (Le) and lFLrA induce immediate decreases in the OKT4+/OKT8+ ratio, the T cell subset(s) primarily responsible for the decrease varies with the source of interferon.

publication date

  • January 1983



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0002-9343(83)90876-8

PubMed ID

  • 6196969

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 966

end page

  • 72


  • 75


  • 6