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Semin Cancer Biol. 2009 Apr;19(2):84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2008.10.012. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Melanoma and innate immunity--aActive inflammation or just erroneous attraction? Melanoma as the source of leukocyte-attracting chemokines.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


Unwanted growth breeds response--in the garden as well as in the tumor microenvironment. Innate immune cells mediate the earliest responses against melanoma or its precursors. However, the actual benefit by those cellular efforts is questionable. Why can early melanoma lesions actually develop in the face of rapid innate responses, and why is neutrophil- and macrophage-attracting chemokine secretion observed in melanoma? A surprisingly similar choice of chemokine receptors and chemokines are present in both innate immune cells and melanoma. Here we focus on analogies and differences between the two. Melanoma cell clusters show active chemokine signalling, with mostly tumor growth-enhancing and leukocyte-attracting effects. However, infiltrating leukocytes have only weak tumoricidal effects. Therefore, the observed leukocyte infiltration in melanoma might be at least in part an epiphenomenon of neoplastic self-stimulation rather than a full-fledged innate anti-tumor immune response.

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