Quantitative dinitrochlorobenzene contact sensitivity in preoperative and cured cancer patients

P. B. Chretien, P. L. Twomey, E. E. Trahan, W. J. Catalona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


With a technique that quantitates dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) contact sensitivity, the DNCB reactivity of 201 preoperative cancer patients was compared with that of 73 patients who had sufficiently long intervals after resection of malignancies to be considered cured. Controls were 143 healthy volunteers. The preoperative cancer patients had high incidences of anergy (22% vs. 2.8% in controls) and impaired positive reactivity (23% vs. 1% in controls). The incidences of abnormalities were not significantly influenced by tumor histology or extent of tumor growth. Among cancer patients considered cured after previous resection of sarcomas, melanomas, and adenocarcinomas, DNCB reactivity was normal; but patients previously treated for squamous carcinomas of the head and neck and pelvic organs had the high incidences of abnormal DNCB reactivity seen in preoperative patients. The results indicate that quantitative DNCB reactivity is useful in monitoring the response to cancer therapy, but tumor histology influences the interpretation of abnormal reacitivity in treated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalNational Cancer Institute Monograph
VolumeNo. 39
StatePublished - Jan 1 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)

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