Multiple immunological parameters, including total lymphocyte count, lymphocyte subpopulations (CD2+, CD19+, CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+), phytohemagglutinin (PHA) response, and natural killer (NK) activity, were measured in 66 patients with previously untreated esophageal carcinoma. The influence of preoperative treatment and/or surgical operation on the immune function were evaluated in 40 patients. The PHA response and NK activity of the patients with esophageal carcinoma were 229 ± 103 S.I.% and 18.5 ± 11.9% lysis, respectively, and were significantly depressed as compared with the control. The CD4+/CD8+ ratio, PHA response, and NK activity in stage IV were also significantly depressed compared to that in stages I‐III. Preoperative treatment induced significant reductions in the total lymphocyte count (1,994 ± 644 to 670 ± 274/mm3), PHA response (219 ± 77 to 159 ± 59 S.I.%), and NK activity (19.7 ± 13.2 to 11.1 ± 10.3% lysis) as well as a significant gradual decrease in the CD4+/CD8+ ratio (2.09 ± 1.42 to 0.69 ± 0.48), while the surgical operation significantly influenced only the total lymphocyte count. This study demonstrates that preoperative treatment induces a more pronounced influence on the immune function than surgical operation alone, in patients with esophageal carcinoma in which the immune function is disturbed prior to these treatments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes