To facilitate measurement of cell-mediated immune responses, a method for quantitative clinical evaluation of contact sensitization to dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) was devised and used in 40 patients with cancer. When a sensitizing dose is applied, the immediate reaction produced expresses a general inflammatory response. Sensitization is expressed by the occurrence of a spontaneous flare seven to 14 days later, or by the reaction to a challenge dose of DNCB. Equivocal reactions require histologic examination. Use of a sensitizing dose of 2000 μg and a relatively weak challenge dose of 50 μg yielded a satisfactory incidence of sensitization with a low proportion of irritative inflammatory reactions.
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