Immune reactions in benign and malignant melanocytic lesions: lessons for immunotherapy


R. Speeckaert, e-mail:


Spontaneous regression of benign and malignant melanocytic lesions can be a visible sign of immunosurveillance. In this review, we discuss different immune reactions against melanocytic lesions: halo nevus, Meyerson’s nevus, regression in melanoma and melanoma-associated depigmentation. These entities present with particular clinical aspects, histology and evolution. In all entities, a melanocyte-specific T-cell reaction has been assumed but a different degree of melanocyte destruction is present. A focus on the immune responses in melanocytic lesions reveals several aspects of an adequate skin immunity and may help to identify the key points in the immune destruction of melanocytes. These insights can add to the knowledge of how to optimize immunotherapeutic strategies in melanoma.