Cancer immunology and canine malignant melanoma: A comparative review Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Oral canine malignant melanoma (CMM) is a spontaneously occurring aggressive tumour with relatively few medical treatment options, which provides a suitable model for the disease in humans. Historically, multiple immunotherapeutic strategies aimed at provoking both innate and adaptive anti-tumour immune responses have been published with varying levels of activity against CMM. Recently, a plasmid DNA vaccine expressing human tyrosinase has been licensed for the adjunct treatment of oral CMM. This article reviews the immunological similarities between CMM and the human counterpart; mechanisms by which tumours evade the immune system; reasons why melanoma is an attractive target for immunotherapy; the premise of whole cell, dendritic cell (DC), viral and DNA vaccination strategies alongside preliminary clinical results in dogs. Current "gold standard" treatments for advanced human malignant melanoma are evolving quickly with remarkable results being achieved following the introduction of immune checkpoint blockade and adoptively transferred cell therapies. The rapidly expanding field of cancer immunology and immunotherapeutics means that rational targeting of this disease in both species should enhance treatment outcomes in veterinary and human clinics.

publication date

  • January 2016