Immunogenetics of Melanoma

  • Ronald T. Acton
  • Charles M. Balch
  • Bruce Budowle
  • Rodney C. P. Go
  • Jeffrey M. Roseman
  • Seng-Jaw Soong
  • Bruce O. Barger


Human melanoma of the skin is a disease that has received a great deal of attention from basic scientists and clinicians over the last several years. One reason for this increased interest is that the incidence of the disease is rapidly increasing in the United States as well as in other countries (Crombie, 1979; Cutler and Young, 1975; Elwood and Lee, 1974; Magnus, 1977; Ohsumi and Seiji, 1977). In attempting to understand the etiology of melanoma, one must consider two major factors: the genetic makeup of the host and environmental insults (Clark et al., 1977; Klepp and Magnus, 1979; McGovern, 1977). Ultimately, one would like to be able to identify highly susceptible individuals in the population early in life and provide measures to minimize or prevent insult by environmental agents. With this in mind, we will attempt to review the current state of knowledge with regard to the immunogenetics of melanoma in order to establish whether this goal is in sight. The authors have taken the liberty of selecting data by others that illustrate the current level of understanding in this area rather than attempting an all-encompassing review. Since the highest melanoma mortality rate in the United States is found in Alabama (Mason and McKay, 1974), we will review the immunogenetic data collected from patients mainly residing in the state of Alabama treated at the Melanoma Clinic of the University of Alabama in Birmingham. The clinical and pathological characteristics of this patient group have previously been published (Balch et al., 1978, 1979a,b, 1980, 1981; Balch, 1980).


Major Histocompatibility Complex Human Leukocyte Antigen Melanoma Patient Cutaneous Melanoma Human Leukocyte Antigen Antigen 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald T. Acton
    • 1
  • Charles M. Balch
    • 2
  • Bruce Budowle
    • 3
  • Rodney C. P. Go
    • 4
  • Jeffrey M. Roseman
    • 4
  • Seng-Jaw Soong
    • 5
  • Bruce O. Barger
    • 6
  1. 1.Departments of Microbiology and EpidemiologyUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Microbiology and SurgeryUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  5. 5.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  6. 6.Department of Microbiology and EpidemiologyUniversity of Alabama in BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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