Antigen-specific versus antigen-nonspecific immunotherapeutic approaches for human melanoma: the need for integration for optimal efficacy?

Int Rev Immunol. Oct-Dec 2011;30(5-6):238-93. doi: 10.3109/08830185.2011.598977.


Due to its immunogenecity and evidence of immune responses resulting in tumor regression, metastatic melanoma has been the target for numerous immunotherapeutic approaches. Unfortunately, based on the clinical outcomes, even the successful induction of tumor-specific responses does not correlate with efficacy. Immunotherapies can be divided into antigen-specific approaches, which seek to induce T cells specific to one or several known tumor associated antigens (TAA), or with antigen-nonspecific approaches, which generally activate T cells to become nonspecifically lytic effectors. Here the authors critically review the different immunotherapeutic approaches in melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines