Sera from 548 cancer patients and 500 control subjects were tested for the presence of complement-fixing antibodies against adenovirus type-12 tumour (T) antigen. Five of the cancer patients' sera were positive, with titres ranging from 16 to 512. Eight of the control subjects' sera were positive, with titres ranging from 2 to 16. No correlation was found with sex or socio-economic status, but all the positive sera were from patients 40 yr old or younger. The high titres of antibody were found only in some patients with acute lymphatic leukaemia or Hodgkin's disease. Antibodies against SV40 T antigen were not found.

I am indebted to Mrs Diane MacAulcy for excellent technical assistance and to Miss Frances Cook for collecting some of the blood samples. Financial help was received from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and from the Medical Research Council of Canada.


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