Immunological Strategies to Fight Skin Cancer

B. Berman, MD, PhD; O. A. Perez, MD; D. Zell, MD

Disclosures

Skin Therapy Letter. 2006;11(5):1-7. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Skin cancer is the most common human cancer, and is currently considered a global epidemic. Recently, there has been a growing interest in immunomodulators, or up-regulators of the immune response, for the treatment and cure of various forms of skin cancer, including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, cutaneous extramammary Paget's disease, and vulvar intraepithelial carcinoma neoplasia. Strategies to augment the host's immune response against cancer cells and/or cancer cell antigenicity have been investigated, including recombinant cytokines, immunomodulators, dendritic cell immunization, tumor antigen vaccination, T-cell-based immunotherapy, and gene therapy. Although the current standard of care for most of these cancers includes Mohs micrographic surgery, curettage, and cryo-, laser-, or radiotherapy, immunomodulators are becoming essential in the treatment of patients who are poor surgical candidates and/or require noninvasive therapy.

Recently, there has been a growing interest in immunomodulators for the treatment and cure of skin cancers. The therapeutic effect of immunomodulators on melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), cutaneous extramammary Paget's disease, and vulvar intraepithelial carcinoma neoplasia (VIN) is currently being investigated. Today, immunomodulators are essential in the treatment of patients who are poor surgical candidates and/or require noninvasive therapy, and there is a growing interest in understanding the safety, mechanisms, and therapeutic effect of immunomodulators on skin cancers.

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