Deficient strongly adherent monocytes in the peripheral blood of cancer patients

Evan M. Hersh, Charles Gschwind, Dexter L. Morris, Samuel Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The numbers of strongly adherent monocytes in the peripheral blood of normal subjects and cancer patients were determined. The method used was to place peripheral blood mononuclear cells in microwells and culture them for 1 week. At the end of that period, adherent macrophages were counted in the Coulter counter after release. Adherent cells per milliliter of blood, per total cells, and per mononuclear cells or monocytes plated were markedly diminished in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 44 melanoma, 23 breast cancer, 18 lung cancer, nine colon cancer, and 27 leukemia patients. Median values were 14.8×104 adherent cells per ml peripheral blood for 86 normal subjects, as against 2.5×104 per ml in the peripheral blood of the 125 patients (P<0.001). There was a poor correlation between the adherent cell numbers and the peripheral blood leukocyte counts, but an excellent correlation of the different adherent cell counts with each other. The number of adherent cells in the peripheral blood varied inversely with age in the cancer patients, but not in the normal subjects (r=0.29, P<0.005). When patients under age 50 were compared to the controls, the deficiency of adherent cells was slightly more severe in patients with stage IV lung cancer than in those with stage III lung cancer. In contrast, there was no difference in the degree of deficiency between patients with stage III melanoma and no evident disease and patients with stage IV disseminated metastatic disease. The implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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