Prognostic and predictive significance of immune cells infiltrating cutaneous melanoma

Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2015 Sep;28(5):490-500. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12371. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


The tumor microenvironment is shaped by interactions between malignant cells and host cells representing an integral component of solid tumors. Host cells, including elements of the innate and adaptive immune system, can exert both positive and negative effects on the outcome of the disease. In melanoma, studies on the prognostic impact of the lymphoid infiltrate in general, and that of T cells, yielded controversial results. According to our studies and data in the literature, a high peritumoral density of activated T cells, increased amount of B lymphocytes and mature dendritic cells (DCs) predicted longer survival, while intense infiltration by plasmacytoid DCs or neutrophil granulocytes could be associated with poor prognosis. Besides its prognostic value, evaluation of the components of immune infiltrate could provide biomarkers for predicting the efficacy of the treatment and disease outcome in patients treated with immunotherapy or other, non-immune-based modalities as chemo-, radio-, or targeted therapy.

Keywords: dendritic cells; lymphocytes; melanoma; predictive marker; prognostic marker; tumor-infiltrating immune cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Granulocytes / cytology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / cytology*
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*


  • Biomarkers

Supplementary concepts

  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant