Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 6589–6602 | Cite as

Current position of TNF-α in melanomagenesis

  • Iuliana Nenu
  • Diana Tudor
  • Adriana Gabriela Filip
  • Ioana Baldea


Melanoma is one of the most heterogeneous and immunogenic forms of cancer. Both tumor and stroma cells synthesize many cytokines involved in rapid development and metastasis. One of these cytokines from the tumor milieu is tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), which seems to have an intricate role in melanomagenesis. Initially, it was found that TNF-α can induce apoptosis of tumor cells through both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways, in contrast with later studies that revealed its protumoral activity. TNF-α is involved in inflammation, inducing the secretion of survival molecules like antiapoptotic proteins, proangiogenetic factors and metastasis markers. Although there are many therapeutic strategies against melanoma, the prognosis of advanced stages remains poor, due to several tumor resistance mechanisms. TNF seems to be a negative prognostic factor in melanoma surgery and correlates with chemotherapy resistance. However, high intratumoral levels of TNF-α might be beneficial for immunotherapy. Researchers may redirect their studies in the future by double activating of the proinflammatory molecule TNF-α and the immune cells in order to obtain an antitumoral response in metastatic melanoma.


Cutaneous melanoma Inflammation Immunotherapy TNF-α 



The authors are grateful to “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, for supporting their work through an internal grant program as stated in contract no. 1493/4/28.01.2014. The research was partially funded by POSDRU grant no 159/1.5/S/138776 with title: “Model colaborativ institutional pentru translatarea cercetarii stiintifice biomedicale in practica clinica—TRANSCENT”

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iuliana Nenu
    • 1
  • Diana Tudor
    • 1
  • Adriana Gabriela Filip
    • 1
  • Ioana Baldea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Medicine and PharmacyCluj-NapocaRomania

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