Cancer of the bladder is frequently accompanied by a follicular lymphocytic reaction of varying intensity located in the submucosa. It has been suggested that these follicles represent an immunologic response on the part of the host against the tumor and that the intensity of this reaction has prognostic significance. Although peripheral lymphocytes from some patients with bladder tumors demonstrate in vitro cytotoxicity to their tumor cells, it cannot be inferred that the lymphocytes located in the bladder have any influence on the development or growth of a bladder tumor. Bladder tumors induced by FANFT (N-[4-(5-nitro-2-furyl)-2-thiazolyl]formamide) are accompanied by an intense lymphocytic reaction identical to that observed in association with human bladder cancer. Chronic immunosuppression was utilized to prevent this follicular response. Although immunosuppression effectively eliminated lymphocytes in the submucosa, there was no significant difference in the induction time or final incidence of tumors when compared to mice receiving FANFT alone. This suggests that although these lymphocytes may be responding to new tumor antigens, they do not appear to alter tumor induction or growth.
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