Impairment of lymphocyte locomotion in the tumor microenvironment and the effect of systemic immunotherapy with liposome-encapsulated myramyl-tripeptide-phosphatidylethanolamine

Diana Risin, Eugenie S. Kleinerman, Yasuiki Umezu, Roland P. Pizzini, Charles M. Balch, Neal R. Pellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The ability of the lymphocytes to move through the interstitium is obligatory to the immune response. We previously showed that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from human melanoma and renal cell carcinoma demonstrate a dramatic decrease in their spontaneous locomotion through three-dimensional collagen gel when compared with peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and lymph node lymphocytes. To determine if this decrease is caused by contact with tumor cells, or mediated through certain diffusible factors, we examined the effects of autologous tumor cells on the locomotion of PBL in a model system where tumor cells were separated from lymphocytes by a 3-mm layer of gelled collagen. After 21-22 h incubation in chamber slides, locomotion distances were assessed in the presence and absence of tumor and normal cells. In the presence of tumor cells. PBL from 14 of 18 patients displayed substantial (466.5±2.7 μm compared to control 568.9±10.9 μm, P<0.001), loss of motility. Inhibition was more prominent in melanoma patients than in renal cell carcinoma patients. Thus the impaired locomotion previously observed in TIL was at least partially due to the presence of tumor. The locomotion of TIL was restored in four of five melanoma patients treated with liposome-encapsulated muramyltripeptide-phosphatidylethanolamine (L-MTP-PE). Furthermoe, in six of seven examined L-MTP-PE-treated patients, an increase in intrinsic PBL locomotion during the first month of the therapy was observed. These results suggest that the environment of the tumor is not conducive to locomotion of advancing lymphocytes and the therapeutic intervention may ameliorate the loss of lymphocytic infiltration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunotherapy MTP-PE
  • Locomotion TIL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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