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Immune Checkpoint Blockade and Interferon-α in Melanoma

Seminars in Oncology


The quality of the host immune response in patients with advanced melanoma is compromised with a bias towards Th2-type polarization and a tumor microenvironment that facilitates disease progression. Overcoming tumor-induced immune suppression through strategies that build upon the immunomodulatory qualities and clinical activity of interferon-α as demonstrated in the melanoma adjuvant setting is a major clinical need. The recent advances in the field of immune checkpoint modulation and the unprecedented clinical activity in advanced melanoma opens the door on novel combinations that may overcome tumor tolerogenic mechanisms that are known to suppress the potent anti-tumor impact of interferon-α. Promising preliminary data suggest that such combinations may move the clinical management of advanced melanoma into the next level, beyond what is currently seen with immune checkpoint blockers alone.


a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

b University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

lowast Corresponding author: Ahmad A. Tarhini, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 5150 Centre Avenue (555), Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Tel.: +412 648 6578; fax: +412 648 6579.