The mixed lymphocyte tumor cell (MLTuC), also called the mixed lymphocyte tumor reactivity (MLTR) assay, has been used to determine the immune reactivity of a patient’s lymphocytes with tumor cells from the same individual (autologous). The MLTuC assay was first described by Stjernsward et al. (1970) and was based on the mixed lymphocyte response (MLR) method. The MLTuC assay is conducted to determine either 1) the induction of primary immune responses to tumor-associated cell-surface antigens, or 2) is there pre-existing cell-mediated immunity from prior exposure to these antigens.
More recently, research has been conducted with the MLTuC method in attempts to generate T-lymphocytes that are cytotoxic to specific tumor cell types. However, culturing primary T-lymphocytes with most tumor cell types results in generally weak anti-tumor activity. A more successful approach is one where the tumor cell antigens are presented to T-lymphocytes in culture via the addition of autologous dendritic cells that have been pre-loaded with the tumor antigens of interest (cross-priming).
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