Melanoma-associated leukoderma - immunology in black and white?

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2013 Nov;26(6):796-804. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12161. Epub 2013 Oct 9.


Melanoma is an 'immunogenic tumor', often highly infiltrated with lymphocytes, which are capable of inducing regression of the primary tumor. The commonly observed phenomenon of regression suggests substantial cross-talk between immune cells and transformed melanocytes. An immune response to melanocyte differentiation antigens common to transformed and normal melanocytes manifests clinically at distant sites as melanoma-associated vitiligo or halo nevi. Despite similar antigenic targets, the pathogenesis and prognosis differ between the different melanoma-associated leukodermas. Understanding immunologic cross-talk between melanocytes and the immune system will aid the development of approaches to combat melanoma.

Keywords: immunity; leukoderma; melanocyte; melanoma; nevus; vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypopigmentation / complications
  • Hypopigmentation / pathology
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanoma / complications*
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Nevus / complications
  • Nevus / pathology
  • Remission Induction
  • Vitiligo / complications*
  • Vitiligo / immunology*
  • Vitiligo / therapy