Experimental trials of immunotherapy for malignant melanoma.
Conventional treatment for metastatic melanoma consists of surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. New approaches toward treatment of this disease include the development of passive and active immunotherapeutic regimens. Malignant melanoma is particularly amendable to immunotherapy since the tumor is relatively immunogenic, expressing unique cell surface protein and lipid antigens. Clinical trials investigating the benefit of active specific immunotherapy documented increased survival of invasive Stage 1 and metastatic Stage 2 melanoma patients following immunization with tumor cell vaccines and BCG. Additional trials showed that the development of specific antibodies after immunization of Stage 2 patients with a viral oncolysate was correlated with an increased survival compared to matched controls given only BCG. Passive immunotherapy approaches using either lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells or tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) administered with interleukin 2 have also resulted in regression of disease with complete or partial remissions occurring in 25% of the patients. Additional studies have focused on the generation of specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes by stimulation with autologous tumor in vivo. Future trials will evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of these specific cytologic T lymphocytes relative to LAK and TIL.
Reintgen, D; Becker, J; Seigler, HF
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)