Background The development of vitiligo has been associated with an improved clinical response in melanoma patients.
Methods We report a case of vitiligo associated with a novel antisurvivin drug and review the literature to determine the pathogenesis of vitiligo occurring during melanoma treatment.
Results A 78-year-old man with stage IV malignant melanoma developed vitiligo after the first therapeutic cycle of a novel antisurvivin drug. Although his vitiligo remained static, his melanoma continued to progress and he died in 8 months. A review of the literature demonstrates a relationship between vitiligo development and improved clinical response in many melanoma cases treated with immunotherapy; however, the relationship may depend on the type of treatment.
Conclusions Understanding complex immune responses in vitiliginous skin and melanoma sites is important in order to interpret the development of vitiligo occurring during melanoma treatment.