Melanoma: tumor microenvironment and new treatments.

In the recent past years, many discoveries in the tumor microenvironment have led to changes in the management of melanoma and it is rising up hopes, specially, to those in advanced stages. FDA approved seven new drugs from 2011 to 2014. They are: Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib and Trametinib, kinases inhibitors used for patients that have BRAFV600E mutation; Ipilimumab (anti-CTLA4), Pembrolizumab (anti-PD-1) and Nivolumab (anti-PD-1), monoclonal antibodies that stimulate the immune system; and Peginterferon alfa-2b, an anti-proliferative cytokine used as adjuvant therapy. In this article, we will review the molecular bases for these new metastatic melanoma therapeutic agents cited above and also analyze new molecular discoveries in melanoma study, as Cancer-Testis antigens (CT). They are capable of induce humoral and cellular immune responses in cancer patients and because of this immunogenicity and their restrict expression in normal tissues, they are considered an ideal candidate for vaccine development against cancer. Among CT antigens, NY-ESO-1 is the best characterized in terms of expression patterns and immunogenicity. It is expressed in 20-40% of all melanomas, more in metastatic lesions than in primary ones, and it is very heterogeneous inter and intratumoral. Breslow index is associate with NY-ESO-1 expression in primary cutaneous melanomas, but its relation to patient survival remains controversial.

Anais brasileiros de dermatologia. 0000 Jan [Epub]

Mara Huffenbaecher Giavina-Bianchi, Pedro Francisco Giavina-Bianchi, Cyro Festa

Dermatology Department of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Universidade de São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP) - São Paulo (SP), Brazil., Disciplines of Allergy and Immunology of the Universidade de São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP) - São Paulo (SP), Brazil., Dermatology Department of Universidade de São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP) - São Paulo (SP), Brazil.