Quantitative host cell mediated immunocompetence measured by delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity to DNCB in 64 patients with genitourinary tumors, was significantly impaired as compared to age matched healthy controls. Subnormal immunologic responsiveness was demonstrated in 57% of patients with transitional carcinoma, 52% of patients with prostatic carcinoma, 50% of patients with renal cell carcinoma, 50% of patients with penile carcinoma and 17% of patients with testis tumors. The incidence of impaired immunocompetence correlated with the clinical extent of tumor in patients with transitional (100% metastatic and 38% localized) and renal cell carcinoma (60% metastatic and 33% localized) but not in prostatic (47% metastatic and 60% localized) or testicular carcinoma (25% metastatic and none localized). Only 2 patients with penile carcinoma were tested. These diverse patterns of immunocompetence suggest that differing host tumor relationships exist which are related to the histologic origin of the tumor and which may reflect important differences in etiology.
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