The host antitumor immune response in patients with advanced melanoma
is compromised with a bias towards tumor immune tolerance and a tumor microenvironment
that facilitates disease survival and progression. Overcoming tumor-induced
immune suppression has been one of the most significant advances in cancer therapy,
making a cure an ever closer and achievable goal. Immunotherapeutic strategies in
melanoma have been built upon the immunomodulatory qualities and the early successes
of interferon-α in the melanoma adjuvant setting and interleukin-2 in the
treatment of inoperable advanced melanoma. The recent advances in the field of immune
checkpoint modulation and the unprecedented clinical activity in advanced
melanoma opened the doors for novel agents and combinations that may potently
overcome tumor tolerogenic mechanisms. Recent data with immune anti-CTLA4 and
anti-PD1 monoclonal antibodies have moved the clinical management of advanced melanoma into a new
era, an era of long-term survival and potential cures.
Keywords: Checkpoint inhibitors, immunotherapy, IL-2, PD-1, melanoma, PD-L1.
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