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Immunotherapy. 2010 Sep;2(5):697-709. doi: 10.2217/imt.10.46.

Antimelanoma immunotherapy: clinical and preclinical applications of IL-12 family members.

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Division of Dermatology, Department of Internal Related, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Malignant melanoma has been considered a prototypical 'immunogenic' tumor through clinical observations, such as the spontaneous regression of primary lesions, their higher incidence in immune-suppressed individuals, and the development of vitiligo after immunotherapy. Among many cytokines, IL-12 is one of the best characterized and the most potent anti-tumor cytokines. Although the systemic application of IL-12 resulted in disappointing results owing to its considerable toxicity, IL-12 is not entirely unusable in the clinical setting. IL-12-related cytokines, IL-23 and IL-27, have also been shown to possess anti-tumor activities in preclinical models. Although belonging to the same cytokine family, IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27 were found to have different anti-tumor mechanisms, adjuvant activity for tumor vaccines and adverse effects in a poorly immunogeneic melanoma model. In addition, their novel activities on melanoma have been clarified. We briefly review the key features of these members of the IL-12 cytokine family and discuss their potential relevance to melanoma immunity and antimelanoma immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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