Melanoma-associated leukoderma – immunology in black and white?

Authors

  • Hadas Prag Naveh,

    1. University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Uma N. M. Rao,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Lisa H. Butterfield

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    3. Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    4. Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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Summary

Melanoma is an ‘immunogenic tumor’, often highly infiltrated with lymphocytes, which are capable of inducing regression of the primary tumor. The commonly observed phenomenon of regression suggests substantial cross-talk between immune cells and transformed melanocytes. An immune response to melanocyte differentiation antigens common to transformed and normal melanocytes manifests clinically at distant sites as melanoma-associated vitiligo or halo nevi. Despite similar antigenic targets, the pathogenesis and prognosis differ between the different melanoma-associated leukodermas. Understanding immunologic cross-talk between melanocytes and the immune system will aid the development of approaches to combat melanoma.

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