Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 77–85 | Cite as

Regulatory T cells in the immunotherapy of melanoma

  • Zhengxiao Ouyang
  • Hongwei Wu
  • Linqin Li
  • Yi Luo
  • Xianan Li
  • Gang Huang


Patients with melanoma are supposed to develop spontaneous immune responses against specific tumor antigens. However, several mechanisms contribute to the failure of tumor antigen-specific T cell responses, inducing immune escape. Importantly, immunosuppression mediated by regulatory T cells (Tregs) in tumor lesions is a dominant mechanism of tumor immune evasion. Based on this information, several therapies targeting Tregs such as cyclophosphamide, IL-2-based therapies, and antibodies against the surface molecular of Tregs have been developed. However, only some of these strategies showed clinical efficacy in patients with melanoma in spite of their success in shifting immune systems to antitumor responses in animal models. In the future, strategies specifically depleting local Tregs, inhibiting Treg migration to the tumor lesion, and Treg depletion in combination with other chemotherapies or immune modulation will hopefully bring benefits to melanoma patients.


Regulatory T cells Melanoma Immunotherapy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

All study participants provided informed consent.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhengxiao Ouyang
    • 1
  • Hongwei Wu
    • 1
  • Linqin Li
    • 1
  • Yi Luo
    • 1
  • Xianan Li
    • 1
  • Gang Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of MedicineCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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