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Previous studies have suggested the importance of CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells of hosts against neoplasms. Earlier studies and our previous investigation showed that a majority of tumor infiltrating T-cells in human basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) belonged to CD4+ T-cells. CD8+ cells were also present in the peritumor areas of human BCCs, but in smaller numbers. Published evidence indicates the importance of cytotoxic T-cells in antitumor immunity. Cytotoxic T-cells have been identified by using monoclonal antibodies against various cytotoxic T-cell components. In this study, we used monoclonal antibodies to perforin to evaluate the role of cytotoxic T-cells in the host response against basal cell carcinomas. Perforin-expressing T-cells could be identified in the infiltrate of BCCs in frozen tissue sections, and also in antigen-retrieved paraffin-embedded sections of BCCs, and the presence of perforin-expressing T-cells correlated with the infiltration of CD8+ T-cells. These results suggest that cytotoxic T-cells play a role in host defense against human BCCs.