The negative systemic effect of BCGcw inoculated intraperitoneally - I. In vivo demonstration of intramuscular tumor growth enhancement with Morris hepatomas

H. Terry Wepsic, John Alaimo, Brian J. Druker, William Murray, Harold P. Morris

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7 Scopus citations


The present studies describe a systemic effect of BCGcw inoculated intraperitoneally by observing its influence on the development of Morris hepatomas inoculated intramuscularly. In none of our studies did we observe an inhibition of tumor growth. Instead, an enhancement of tumor growth was seen with four antigenically distinct Morris hepatomas (3924a, 9098, 7777, and 5123tc) in two strains of inbred rats (Buffalo and ACI). Extensive studies with Morris hepatoma 3924a showed consistent enhancement of intramuscular tumor growth in eight of eight experiments with a tumor cell dose of 1×10 5 and a BCGcw dose of 900 μg. In BCGcw-inoculated animals, palpable tumors (1-2 g) were detected approximately 1 week earlier than in controls, and significantly larger tumor masses were noted on the day of sacrifice. With the threshold dose of cells, 1×10 4 , an increase in tumor incidence was observed. It was not necessary for the host to be immunized with BCGcw prior to tumor inoculation as enhancement of tumor growth occurred when the BCGcw were inoculated the same day or 7 days after tumor inoculation. Splenectomized animals also demonstrated BCGcw-mediated enhancement of tumor growth. BCGcw immunization blocks the induction of tumor-specific immunity. When 3924a ascites tumor cells were inoculated intradermally into normal animals, no tumor growth was observed and tumor-specific immunity resulted. When 3924a ascites tumor cells were inoculated intradermally into BCGcw-immunized animals, progressive intradermal tumors grew in all the animals, implying that tumor-specific immunity was not induced. The administration of BCGcw did not effect established tumor-specific immunity to line 3924a as assessed by tumor-specific rechallenge resistance. Studies with an allograft system showed that the ACI tumor 3924a would not grow in normal Buffalo rats, but transient tumor growth was observed when the Buffalo rats were immunized with BCGcw.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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