Tumor-Directed Cellular Immunity in Malignant Melanoma and the Antigens That Evoke It

  • Alistair J. Cochran


The stimulus to study host responses in patients with malignant melanoma is provided by the observation that the clinical course of this neoplasm is not as uniformly bad as was previously believed by the medical profession and the informed laity (Solzhenitsyn, 1968). In favorable groups of patients with small superficial tumors [< 0.76 mm by micrometric measurement (Breslow, 1970)], the cure rate may considerably exceed 50%. Even in patients with disease in the regional lymph nodes, between 20 and 36% (Cochran, 1969a; Gallery et al., 1982) will remain tumor-free 5 years after therapeutic lymphadenectomy. Prognosis can be, in fact, quite accurately quantified prospectively (Cochran, 1968; MacKie et al., 1972; Gallery et al., 1982). Some of the variability in prognosis is undoubtedly due to biological characteristics of the primary tumor such as thickness (Breslow, 1970) (which probably correlates with tumor volume and thus tumor-cell number), depth of invasion relative to anatomical landmarks of the skin (Clark, 1967; Cochran, 1969b), histogenetic pattern, mitotic rate, blood vascular or lymphatic invasion (McGovern et al., 1973), and number of regional nodes replaced by tumor (Gallery et al., 1982; Cochran, 1969a). It is highly probable that the manner in which the patient reacts to the developing tumor is also very relevant.


Melanoma Patient Bacillus Calmette Guerin Detectable Tumor Purify Protein Derivative Control Donor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alistair J. Cochran
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Surgical Oncology and Departments of Surgery and PathologyUCLA School of Medicine, University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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