Levels of circulating immune complexes (CIC) in the serum of patients with Hodgkin's disease were measured by the Raji cell radioimmunoassay. Elevated levels of immune complexes (mean value of 49 μg/ml ± 21 SE) were detected in 20 of 40 (50 per cent) untreated patients. After treatment, the level of CIC was normal (< 15 μg/ml) in 39 of 41 patients. Recurrent disease developed in two of the 39 patients with normal post-treatment levels of CIC and in one of the two patients with elevated post-treatment levels during the follow-up period of six months to six years. Elevated levels of CIC were detected in patients with Hodgkin's disease in stages I, II and III but not in stage IV. No significant correlations were found in the frequency of elevated levels of CIC or the values observed, and the presence or absence of symptoms (fever, sweats, weight loss) or the histologic subtype of the tumor. Our data indicate that the measurement of CIC by the sensitive and specific Raji cell assay may prove useful in the management of patients with Hodgkin's disease. In particular, serial measurement of the level of CIC could be employed to monitor the response to treatment and to detect recurrent diseases.
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