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Non-cytotoxic antibodies in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
  1. A M MacLeod,
  2. E J Minford,
  3. D J King,
  4. A A Dawson,
  5. N B Bennett,
  6. G R Catto


    Non-cytotoxic Fc receptor blocking antibodies against autologous B lymphocytes were sought in sera from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), using a rosette inhibition assay. They were found in 11 of 52 (21%) of patients with CLL, but were not associated with previous blood transfusion or pregnancy, suggesting that they were unlikely to have resulted from allogeneic stimulation. Fc receptor blockade was more commonly detected in sera from patients with stage B rather than stage A CLL (Binet classification), though this did not achieve significance beyond the 90% level, and it was noted in 62.5% of those with lymphocyte doubling times of less than one year, compared with 36.3% of those whose lymphocyte doubling time was more than one year. The results indicate that autologous Fc receptor blocking antibody activity occurs in sera from patients with CLL, is more likely to be generated by the tumour itself than by allogeneic stimulation, and is associated with increased tumour load. Such antibodies may permit tolerance of tumour by the host.

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