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Therapeutics in Dermatology
A reference textbook in dermatology
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Anticancer vaccination

6 June 2012, by KNOL A.-C. , QUEREUX G. , LABARRIERE N. , KHAMMARI A. & DRENO B.

In dermatology, in terms of anticancer vaccination, two treatment strategies have been developed for melanoma patients with locoregional recurrence or metastatic disease: immunotherapy and chemotherapy. For over ten years, little progress has been made in the use of chemotherapy for the treatment of melanoma. The fact that Déticène® is still considered to be the reference molecule despite its 20 percent response rate is the proof of this. It is also important to note that two recent major clinical breakthroughs, anti-CTLA4 antibodies and BRAF inhibitors, will certainly have an impact on the development of vaccines for melanoma. Together with immunotherapy, these promising emerging therapies will have to be taken into account in the long term treatment of melanoma.

The use of vaccines in melanoma is based on:

- the fact that spontaneous regression of primary melanomas or cutaneous metastases has been reported in the literature, suggesting that the immune system plays an important role in the development of these tumours;

- the identification of a large number of specific melanoma cell antigens, making vaccination a viable option.

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