The rationale for immunotherapy of human melanoma is based on the knowledge acquired in the molecular characterization of T cell defined antigens which are recognized in vitro by patients' lymphocytes. Based on this information, active immunotherapy (vaccination) and adoptive immunotherapy trials were conducted in metastatic melanoma patients. This review highlights the most important clinical studies and discuss their limits, in terms of both immune and clinical response considering the formulation of the vaccine (cellular, peptide/protein; DNA, etc.) or the features of immune cells used in adoptive immunotherapy. This new knowledge, along with that of escape mechanisms, should allow to improve significantly the clinical response rate in the immunotherapy of melanoma.