Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
versión On-line ISSN 1851-6114
BARRIO, María Marcela. Melanoma and immunity. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp. 351-355. ISSN 1851-6114.
The immunosurveillance theory states that the immune system is capable of detecting cancer cells recognizing their particular characteristics and of eliminating them to prevent cancer progression. However, such process is not completely effective. Three stages proposed to explain the emergence of tumors can be identified in the process: in the first stage (Elimination) the immune system is capable of destroying neoplasic cells basically by means of innate immunity effectors; in the second (Equilibrium) stage, specific effectors that recognize and destroy the tumor are induced, but on the other hand, selection pressure is generated on tumor cells, originating mutated neoplasic variants. Finally, in the Escape stage, the tumor variants that survive become more resistant to identification and /or elimination by the immune effectors and consequently the tumor grows. The main melanoma-associated Ags, the various therapeutical strategies using these Ags as targets to induce immunity, as well as the existence of tumor escape mechanisms in the melanoma will be introduced in this chapter. Furthermore, the latest evidence on how tumor microenvironment determines the effectiveness of specific cell immunity will be analyzed, proving the present need of exploring therapies that both combine the action of innate immunity effectors and the anti-tumor specific effectors, and modulate the tumor microenvironment to favour its actions.
Palabras clave : Melanoma; Immunosurveillance hypothesis; Anti-melanoma immunity; Strategies of anti-melanoma immunotherapy.