Melanocyte-specific immune response in a patient with multiple regressing nevi and a history of melanoma

Reinhart Speeckaert, Nanja van Geel, Rosalie M. Luiten, Mireille van Gele, Marijn Speeckaert, Jo Lambert, Karim Vermaelen, Esther P. M. Tjin, Lieve Brochez

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Regressing nevi are considered an example of an efficient early antitumoral response preventing the development of neoplasia. The underlying mechanism has not been elucidated, although an immune-based destruction of melanocytes is supposed. The aim of this study was to provide evidence of an effective immunosurveillance of pigment lesions in a patient at high risk of melanoma. A patient with the dysplastic nevus syndrome and a history of melanoma was included in this study. Since 2003, a marked regression of almost all nevi was observed. Immunohistochemistry was performed and the antigen specificity of T-cells was analyzed on T-cells isolated from a regressing nevus by flow cytometry using HLA-A2-peptide tetramers containing Mart-1(26-35), gp100(280-288), gp100(209-217) and tyrosinase(369-377). Immunohistochemistry of the regressing nevi showed a strong infiltrate of CD4 + and CD8 + T-cells. Flow cytometric analyses demonstrated the presence of a CD8 + T-cell response against gp100(280-288) and Mart-1(26-35) both in peripheral blood and in a regressing nevus. These findings indicate that an immune reaction against melanocyte differentiation antigens can target specifically nevi without signs of vitiligo and suggests that boosting the anti-melanocyte immune response in patients at high risk for melanoma may prevent tumor development at an early stage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3697-3703
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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