Accumulation of identical T cells in melanoma and vitiligo-like leukoderma

J Invest Dermatol. 1999 Dec;113(6):1033-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.1999.00805.x.


The cloning of genes encoding melanoma antigens has opened new possibilities for the treatment of patients with cancer; however, most tumor rejection antigens recognized by tumor infiltrating lymphocytes are the products of genes that are also expressed by normal melanocytes. Hence, a large set of antigenic determinants of the self have not induced self-tolerance and these peptide determinants furnish target structures for immune responses directed against tumors. The notion that the immunotherapeutic targets involved in cancer regression comprise normal differentiation antigens is stressed by the association between vitiligo-like leukoderma, due to destruction of normal melanocytes, and melanoma regression, due to destruction of cancer cells. Nevertheless, this is the first report to demonstrate by means of a new technique based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, the presence of clonally expanded T cells with identical BV regions in areas of destruction of both normal and neoplastic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Base Sequence
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • Male
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vitiligo / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • MART-1 Antigen
  • MLANA protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta