Blood monocytes / macrophages of 52 cancer patients were incubated with 100pg/ml of GcMAF.The monocytes / macrophages were efficiently activated.Naturally occurring GcMAF was severely reduced in about 25% of the patients, and moderately reduced in 45%.This was found to be the result of higher than normal levels of nagalase.The source of the nagalase appeared to be the cancerous cells as radiation therapy to reduce the cancer also reduced the level of nagalase.Thus both the levels of GcMAF and the levels of nagalase in the blood can serve as diagnostic indices.
Serum vitamin D3-binding protein (Gc protein) can be converted by beta-galactosidase of B cells and sialidase of T cells to a potent macrophage activating factor, a protein with N-acetylgalactosamine as the remaining sugar moiety. Thus, Gc protein is the precursor of the macrophage activating factor (MAF). Treatment of Gc protein with immobilized beta-galactosidase and sialidase generates an extremely high titered MAF, Gc-MAF. When peripheral blood monocytes/macrophages of 52 patients bearing various types of cancer were incubated with 100 pg/ml of GcMAF, the monocytes/macrophages of all patients were efficiently activated. However, the MAF precursor activity of patient plasma Gc protein was found to be severely reduced in about 25% of this patient population. About 45% of the patients had moderately reduced MAF precursor activities. Loss of the precursor activity was found to be due to deglycosylation of plasma Gc protein by alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase detected in the patient's bloodstream. The source of the enzyme appeared to be cancerous cells. Radiation therapy decreased plasma alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activity with concomitant increase of precursor activity. This implies that radiation therapy decreases the number of cancerous cells capable of secreting alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase. Both alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activity and MAF precursor activity of Gc protein in patient bloodstream can serve as diagnostic and prognostic indices.