To determine whether impaired cellular immune responsiveness in urologic cancer patients is related to a reduction in the number of T lymphocytes, circulating levels of T rosette forming lymphocytes were measured in 21 patients with bladder cancer and 25 patients with prostatic cancer, and compared to levels found in 83 age matched healthy control subjects. The results show that T lymphocyte levels are significantly reduced in both groups of cancer patients. T cell levels appeared to correlate inversely with tumor stage in bladder cancer patients but not in prostatic cancer patients. A possible consequence of reduced numbers of circulating T lymphocytes would be a diminution in tumor inhibiting (T cell) influences and a corresponding relative enhancement of blocking (B cell) influences, a circumstance which would favor tumor proliferation.
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