T cell receptor therapy against melanoma-Immunotherapy for the future?

Scand J Immunol. 2020 Oct;92(4):e12927. doi: 10.1111/sji.12927.


Malignant melanoma has seen monumental changes in treatment options the last decade from the very poor results of dacarbazine treatment to the modern-day use of targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Melanoma has a high mutational burden making it more capable of evoking immune responses than many other tumours. Even when considering double immune checkpoint blockade with anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1, we still have far to go in melanoma treatment as 50% of patients with metastatic disease do not respond to current treatment. Alternative immunotherapy should therefore be considered. Since melanoma has a high mutational burden, it is considered more immunogenic than many other tumours. T cell receptor (TCR) therapy could be a possible way forward, either alone or in combination, to improve the response rates of this deadly disease. Melanoma is one of the cancers where TCR therapy has been frequently applied. However, the number of antigens targeted remains fairly limited, although advanced personalized therapies aim at also targeting private mutations. In this review, we look at possible aspects of targeting TCR therapy towards melanoma and provide an implication of its use in the future.

Keywords: T cell receptors; T cell therapy; TCR; adoptive T cell therapy; immunotherapy; melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell

Supplementary concepts

  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant