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October 1976

Immunology and Adjuvant Chemoimmunotherapy of Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Experimental Immunotherapy Laboratory, Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Sepulveda, Calif.

Arch Surg. 1976;111(10):1057-1062. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360280015002

• Antibody against a breast carcinoma antigen was present in patients with breast carcinoma and other cancer more often (P <.05) than in normal women. The incidence of antibody in women with breast carcinoma correlated with the presence or absence of gross tumor, and the titer of antibody paralleled the clinical course. These results suggest the importance of a host-immune response to breast carcinoma.

Fifty-seven patients with stage II carcinoma of the breast were entered into a prospective randomized adjuvant chemoimmunotherapy program of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil, and BCG vaccine ± an irradiated allogeneic tumor cell vaccine. After 24 months of study, metastases occurred in two patients (3.5%) and a new primary carcinoma developed in the contralateral breast in two others, for an overall treatment failure rate of 7%. Adjuvant chemoimmunotherapy can delay early recurrence. Long-term follow-up is needed to assess the significance of these results.

(Arch Surg 111:1057-1062, 1976)