Update on vaccines for high-risk melanoma

Sarah A. Weiss, Sunandana Chandra, Anna C. Pavlick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The management of high-risk melanoma has historically included primary surgical resection with or without lymphadenectomy followed by an array of adjuvant options including radiation therapy or immunomodulatory therapies such as interferon-α, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and a multitude of vaccines. There has been a long-standing interest in the development of vaccines in high-risk and metastatic melanoma, and clinical trials have been ongoing for decades. Given that melanoma is identified as one of the most immunogenic solid tumors, there is continued hope that vaccine therapies will improve clinical outcomes. Despite intense interest in this field, few clinical trials to-date have demonstrated significant benefit from melanoma vaccines in high-risk disease. Several trials have even documented a detrimental effect on outcomes after vaccine administration. While the role of vaccines in the adjuvant setting of high-risk melanoma presently remains unclear, recent advances in immunotherapy for melanoma including development of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated meaningful clinical responses. With further study and focus on mechanisms of immune regulation, there remains promise for the role of vaccines in combination with other immune-stimulatory agents in high-risk melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-280
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Adjuvant treatment
  • High-risk
  • Melanoma
  • Tumor-associated antigens
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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