Total lymphocyte counts, total rosette formation, high-affinity rosette formation, and the rosette inhibition titer were studied in 104 patients with dysplasia, carcinoma in situ, or Stage I squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Although no changes were detected in total lymphocytes or total rosette formation, a significant decrease (p < 0.001) was observed in high-affinity rosette formation in patients with moderate and severe dysplasia and carcinoma in situ. The rosette inhibition titer was significantly increased (p < 0.001) in all stages of dysplasia and carcinoma in situ; incubation of patients' serum with normal lymphocytes did not reproduce this change but significantly decreased the rosette inhibition titer of the patients' lymphocytes (p < 0.001). No change in high-affinity rosette formation or the rosette inhibition titer was observed in patients with Stage I squamous cell carcinoma as compared to controls. These changes are postulated to represent alterations in the normal balance of T-cell differentiation during the early stages of tumor development.

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