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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 689893, 8 pages
Review Article

Advanced Malignant Melanoma: Immunologic and Multimodal Therapeutic Strategies

National Center for Tumor Diseases, Department of Medical Oncology, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 9 November 2009; Accepted 7 January 2010

Academic Editor: Douglas S. Tyler

Copyright © 2010 Niels Halama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Immunologic treatment strategies are established in malignant melanoma treatment, mainly focusing on Interleukin-2 in advanced disease and interferon alpha in the adjuvant situation. In advanced disease, therapies with IL-2, interferon and different chemotherapeutic agents were not associated with better patient survival in the vast majority of patients. Therefore, an overview of novel immunological agents and combined therapeutic approaches is presented in this review, covering allogenic and autologous vaccine strategies, dendritic cell vaccination, strategies for adoptive immunotherapy and T cell receptor gene transfer, treatment with cytokines and monoclonal antibodies against the CTLA-4 antigen. As emerging treatment strategies are based on individual molecular and immunological characterization of individual tumors/patients, tailored targeted drug therapies move into the focus of treatment strategies. Multimodal combination therapies with considerable potential in altering the immune response in malignant melanoma patients are currently emerging. As oncology moves forward into the field of personalized therapies, a careful molecular and immunological characterization of patients is crucial to select patients for individual targeted treatment.