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BMC Med. 2006 Mar 13;4:5.

HLA-B8 association with late-stage melanoma--an immunological lesson?

Author information

1
Inst. f. Med. Strahlenkunde und Zellforschung MSZ, University Clinics of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 5, 97078 Würzburg, Germany. joachim.fensterle@mail.uni-wuerzburg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Differences in HLA allele frequencies between the diseased and healthy populations may signify efficient immune responses, a notion that has been successfully tested for infectious diseases or for association with genetic elements involved in a distinct type of immunity. This retrospective study is intended to detect differences in MHC class I carrier frequencies of advanced melanoma patients compared to healthy bone marrow donors.

METHODS:

The HLA-A and -B carrier frequencies of 748 stage IV melanoma patients retrieved from serotyping at 6 different centers in Germany were compared using a chi-square test to 13,386 fully HLA typed bone marrow donors registered in the German national bone marrow donor registry.

RESULTS:

The comparison of HLA carrier frequencies in advanced cancer patients with healthy bone marrow donors revealed a significant decrease in HLA-B8 carrier frequencies, which was also apparent in patients with advanced disease compared to patients with loco-regional disease.

CONCLUSION:

The data suggest that protective immune responses restricted to distinct MHC class I molecules may be operational in a subset of melanoma patients, which is the prerequisite for a large scale screen for the corresponding epitopes. Alternatively, the known association of the ancestral haplotype HLA-A1, -B8 and -DR3 with genetic elements such as distinct TNF-alpha alleles might have a protective effect on disease progression. In any case, identification of the cause of protection within this patient subset might lead to a significant improvement in the efficacy of current immunotherapeutic approaches.

PMID:
16533402
PMCID:
PMC1421420
DOI:
10.1186/1741-7015-4-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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