Preparation of viable tumour cell vaccine from human solid tumours: relationship between tumour mass and cell yield

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Active specific Immunotherapy for cancer often requires the use of autologous or allogeneic tumour cells as Immunizing antigen. Tumours were obtained for such a protocol. However, estimation of viable cell yield from pre-processed fresh tumour mass was difficult, and Initially there did not appear to be a direct relationship between pre-processed tumour mass and viable cells obtained after processing. We therefore analysed all of 293 tumour specimens processed to attempt to discern such a relationship. Of these 137 were melanoma, 14 were sarcoma, 48 were adenocarcinoma, 59 were renal cell carcinoma and 35 were classified as other. A positive correlation was found between pre-processed tumour mass and viable cell yield, with Spearman correlation values varying from r = 0.49 (adenocarcinoma) to r = 0.84 (melanoma). For all tumours the Spearman correlation was r=0.70 (p = 0.0001). Not surprisingly, the most frequent site of removal associated with bacterial contamination was bowel. In conclusion, this study provides useful curves for predicting viable tumour cell yield from pre-processed tumour mass of given histology.

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