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Immunocompetent for immunotherapy? A study of the immunocompetence of cervical cancer patients
  1. A. N. Fiander*,
  2. M. Adams,
  3. A. S. Evans*,
  4. A. J. Bennett and
  5. L. K. Borysiewicz§
  1. * Department of Gynaecology,
  2. Oncology,
  3. Medical Immunology,; and
  4. § Medicine, University Hospital of Wales and Velindre Hospital, Cardiff, UK
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr A. N. Fiander, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF4 4XW, UK.


Sixty-five patients with cervical carcinoma and 17 control subjects were studied to determine immunocompetence as a prerequisite for immunotherapy using live virus vectors. T-cell immunity, measured by surface phenotype and proliferative assays, was reduced with increasing volume of invasive disease, and independent of treatment effects. Both the CD4+ and CD8+ subsets were affected so that the CD4:8 ratio remained within normal limits. In contrast B-cell number, immunoglobulins and complement were normal as were in vivo responses to a polysaccharide vaccine. Thus, determination of immunocompetence prior to use of live vector immunotherapy requires assessment of each individual subject, especially in those with advanced disease.

  • carcinoma of the cervix
  • immunology
  • immunotherapy
  • lymphocyte populations.

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