Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells can be focused at sites of tumor growth by products of macrophage activation

Richard J. Migliori, Scott A. Gruber, Mark D. Sawyer, Rosemary Hoffman, Augusto Ochoa, Fritz H. Bach, Richard L. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Successful adoptive cancer immunotherapy presumably depends on the accumulation of tumoricidal leukocytes at the sites of tumor growth. Large numbers of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells can be generated in vitro by growth in high concentrations of interleukin-2 (IL-2), but relatively few arrive at the tumor site after intravenous injection. We hypothesize that the delivery of LAK cells to tumor sites may be augmented by previously demonstrated lymphocyte-recruiting factors, including activated macrophage products such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor. 111Indium-labeled LAK cells were injected intravenously into syngeneic mice bearing the macrophage activator endotoxin (LPS) in one hind footpad, and saline solution was injected into the contralateral footpad. Significantly more activity was recovered from the LPS-bearing footpad at all times during a 96-hour period. Recombinant IL-1 also attracted more LAK cells after injection into tumor-free hind footpads. Furthermore, LAK cells preferentially homed to hind footpads that were bearing 3-day established sarcomas after intralesional injections of LPS, IL-1, or tumor necrosis factor when compared with contralateral tumor-bearing footpads injected with saline solution alone. In preliminary experiments, mice with hind-footpad tumors appeared to survive longer after combined systemic IL-2 and LAK therapy if intralesional LPS was administered. These studies demonstrate that macrophage activation factors that have been shown capable of attracting circulating normal lymphocytes can also effectively attract LAK cells from the circulation. By the stimulation of macrophages at the sites of tumor growth, more LAK cells can be attracted. It is hoped that by "focusing" the migration of LAK cells to tumors, LAK cells and IL-2 would effect tumor regression more efficiently and with less toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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