Adjuvants appear to act by creating a depot from which antigen is slowly released and by stimulating antibody-forming cells (Ehrich 1945). Freund's adjuvant consists of an emulsion of water in paraffin oil stabilized by lanolin derivatives (Freund, Casalas-Ariet & Genghof, 1940). Its action is potentiated by adding dead mycobacteria or mycobacterial lipid (complete adjuvant) and Freund attributes the cellular response to the mycobacterial substance (Freund, 1956). Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) can produce delayed hypersensitivity of extreme severity to a foreign antigen and at times sensitize an animal to its own tissue (Freund, Thompson & Lipton, 1955) (auto-immunity). Transplantation and tumour immunity are chiefly of the cellular type (delayed hypersensitivity) and FCA appears to be an ideal agent to enhance such immunity. However, we observed increased tumour growth when hamsters were treated with FCA before challenge with adenovirus tumour cells. The present report describes this paradoxical enhancing effect.


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