Objective: To review recent epidemiologic studies of vaccination and melanoma risk as well as critically discuss the different melanoma vaccines under investigation in multicenter phase III melanoma vaccine trials. Data Sources: A retrospective review of the literature. Study Selection: Studies included those on the risk of melanoma and vaccination, historically relevant data, and ongoing or recently published phase III melanoma vaccine trials. The referenced study designs and methodologies varied. Data extraction and Synthesis: 3 reviewers extracted Data and the main results are presented in a quantitative descriptive manner. Conclusion: Vaccine therapy of melanoma remains promising, given the associated low toxicity. Epidemiologic studies suggest a role for vaccines against certain infectious diseases in melanoma prevention. While results of ongoing phase III melanoma vaccines trials may open new avenues for disease prevention, a better understanding of immune responses to melanoma vaccines will be necessary.
Keywords: immunosuppression, bacille calmette-guerin (bcg), fibrosarcoma, t-lymphocytes, melanoma vaccines, immune system, adjuvant chemotherapy, delayed-type hypersensitivity (dth), viral oncolysates
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