Immunotherapy of Uveal Melanoma: Vaccination Against Cancer.
Methods in molecular biology, January 2017
Mirko Kummer, Beatrice Schuler-Thurner
Thomas Kramps, Knut Elbers
Uveal melanoma is the most frequently occurring primary intraocular tumor in adults, with an incidence of about 5 out of 100,000 per year, the incidence rising with increasing age (Lipski, Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 230:1005-1019, 2013; Metz et al., Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 230:686-691, 2013; Singh and Topham, Ophthalmology 110:956-961, 2003). Often diagnosed late due to a lack of early symptoms, this kind of melanoma is associated with a poor prognosis. Approximately 50 % of the patients develop distant metastases (Lipski, Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 230:1005-1019, 2013; Metz et al., Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 230:686-691, 2013; Singh and Topham, Ophthalmology 110:956-961, 2003). In sharp contrast to cutaneous melanoma, uveal melanoma shows a strong liver tropism and spreads exclusively via the hematogenous route (except for tumors with extraocular expansion) (Heindl et al., Arch Ophthalmol 128:1001-1008, 2010). The most likely reason for this observation is the lack of lymphatic vessels in the choroid and alymphatic barrier of the sclera (Schlereth et al., Exp Eye Res 125:203-209, 2014; Schroedl et al., Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 49:5222-5229, 2008). Due to its location in the immune-privileged eye, the uveal melanoma is widely protected from the immune system. Therefore, the goal of the approach presented here, of a "personalized vaccination therapy" is to help the immune system recognize and fight the tumor.
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