Melanoma-reactive T cells in the bone marrow of melanoma patients: association with disease stage and disease duration

Cancer Res. 2006 Jun 15;66(12):5997-6001. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-0484.


Using IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot, we investigated reactivity of T cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood to melanoma lysate-pulsed autologous dendritic cells in 40 melanoma patients. Melanoma-reactive T cells were present in the bone marrow of seven patients and in peripheral blood of four patients. In the bone marrow, melanoma-reactive T cells were present in 6 of 21 stage IV patients and in 1 of 10 stage III patients, whereas none were detected in stage I to II patients (0 of 9). The occurrence of tumor-reactive bone marrow T cells in melanoma patients was associated with advanced disease stage, disease duration and tumor load, and independent of treatment. These findings provide new insights into the generation of T-cell responses in melanoma patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology


  • Interferon-gamma