Immunological Strategies to Fight Skin Cancer

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


Skin Therapy Letter. 2006;11(5):1-7. 

In This Article


CTCL presents with marked defects in IL-12 production, and progression of CTCL has been associated with profound defects in cell-mediated immunity and cytokine production. A Phase I dose-escalation trial examined the effect of recombinant human IL-12 (rhIL-12) at a concentration of 50ng/kg, 100ng/kg, or 300ng/kg, given two times/week subcutaneously for up to 24 weeks in 10 patients with CTCL. A complete clinical response (CR) was defined as complete disappearance of all measurable CTCL lesions for at least 1 month. A partial response (PR) was defined as at least 50% disappearance of all CTCL skin lesions for at least 1 month. Only patients with plaque stage disease (n = 2) presented a CR. Two plaque stage patients and one Sézary syndrome patient had a PR. None of the T3 stage patients responded to the rhIL-12 treatment. The authors announced the development of future Phase II/III clinical trials based on the high response rate of plaque stage CTCL patients to rhIL-12.[41]

Future clinical trials on immunomodulators will continue to change the approach, management, and follow-up of skin cancer patients. These skin cancer therapies will continue to be based on principles governing the immune system. As our knowledge of the immune system continues to grow, the application of safe and efficacious immunomodulators to treat skin cancer will continue to change the practice of dermatology.


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