The possibility that a single human tumor may be composed of an heterogeneous population of cells with respect to susceptibility to lysis by autologous CTL clones was investigated by testing six cytolytic clones derived by micromanipulation against the autologous metastatic melanoma, Me28, and against 31 clones derived from Me28 by cloning in soft agar. Highly significant differences in the lysis of many tumor clones were observed by three of the CTL effectors in comparison with the cytotoxicity achieved on Me28. These results indicate that cloned cellular reagents can detect heterogeneity among cells isolated from the same melanoma, and suggest that the target determinants recognized on the autologous tumor might be differentially expressed on different neoplastic cells.

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