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Abstract

We have attempted to optimize the production of stable human cytolytic T lymphocyte clones directed against autologous melanoma cell lines. MLTC were restimulated every week with irradiated melanoma cells in medium containing human serum and IL-2. After 21 to 35 days, in 5 out of 6 patients, these cultures expressed a preferential cytolytic activity against the autologous melanoma cells, as compared to autologous EBV-B cells or NK target K562. Limiting dilution of MLTC responder cells was performed at times varying from days 7 to 28, in medium containing IL-2 and allogeneic EBV-B cells as feeders. Approximately 1% of these responder cells gave rise to CTL clones that lysed the autologous melanoma cells, but did not lyse K562 or autologous B cells. It was possible to maintain in culture for several months a large number of CTL clones that retained this specificity with high activity, and multiplied more than 5-fold every week. Some of these CTL clones were dependent on the presence of the autologous melanoma cells for their growth. With one melanoma, the use of autologous CTL clones made it possible to identify 3 different antigens on the tumor cells.