Indexed on: 14 Mar '98Published on: 14 Mar '98Published in: Leukemia & lymphoma
Adoptive immunotherapy with LAK cells has been investigated for the treatment of B-cell-derived lymphomas, but only a few significant tumor regressions were obtained. In order to explain this refractory state, the sensitivity to normal LAK-mediated lysis of 30 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) malignant B-cells was determined using flow cytofluorimetry. A large heterogeneity was found, and we report a close correlation (p < 0.001) between the extent of lysis of malignant B-cells and their ability to form conjugates with LAK cells; which is the first step in LAK-mediated cytolysis. The levels of expression of HLA class I molecules, LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18), CD54 and CD58 were also studied and found to be expressed very heterogeneously. CD54 expression on malignant B-cells plays a major role in the initial conjugate formation with LAK cells (p < 0.001), and this was confirmed by inhibition experiments. Our results suggest that a weak expression of CD54 could constitute one mechanism by which NHL tumor B-cells escape natural immune surveillance and resist LAK cells immunotherapies.