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Keywords:

  • upper gastrointestinal cancer;
  • immune status

Abstract

Thirty-eight cases of advanced upper gastrointestinal cancer were assessed for their immune status prior to any form of therapy. Cell-mediated immunity, as tested by absolute lymphocyte count, T-cell count and delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions to purified protein derivative and phytohemagglutinin showed severe depression. Immunoglobulins A and M were elevated, while immunoglobulin G reduced. No correlation could be established between the immune status and the site of cancer or its extent, the performance status of the patients, or their response to chemotherapy.