Peptides derived from tumor associated antigens can be utilized to elicit a therapeutically effective immune response against melanoma in experimental models. However, patient vaccination with peptides - although it is often followed by the induction of melanoma- specific T lymphocytes - is rarely associated with tumor response of clinical relevance. In this review I summarize the principles of peptide design as well as the results so far obtained in the clinical setting while treating cutaneous melanoma by means of this active immunotherapy strategy. I also discuss some immunological and methodological issues that might be helpful for the successful development of peptide-based vaccines.
Keywords: Peptide, melanoma, therapy, immunotherapy, vaccine, diagnosis, vaccination, tumor, T lymphocytes, carcinomas
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