Active-specific immunization against melanoma: Is the problem at the receiving end?

Vladia Monsurrò, Ena Wang, Monica C. Panelli, Dirk Nagorsen, Ping Jin, Zavaglia Katia, Kina Smith, Yvonne Ngalame, Jos Even, Francesco M. Marincola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


The recent progress in tumor immunology is a striking example of the successful application of modern biotechnology to understand the complex phenomenon of immune-mediated cancer rejection. Tumor antigens were identified and successfully utilized in active immunization trials to induce tumor antigen-specific T cells. This achievement has left, however, clinicians and researchers perplexed by the paradoxical observation that immunization-induced T cells can recognize tumor cells in standard assays but cannot induce tumor regression. A closer look at T cell physiology and tumor biology suggests that this observation is not so surprising. Here, we argue that successful immunization is one of several steps required for tumor clearance while more needs to be understood about how T cells localize and are effective within a tumor microenvironment impervious to the execution of their effector function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Immunization
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-2
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Monsurrò, V., Wang, E., Panelli, M. C., Nagorsen, D., Jin, P., Katia, Z., Smith, K., Ngalame, Y., Even, J., & Marincola, F. M. (2003). Active-specific immunization against melanoma: Is the problem at the receiving end? Seminars in Cancer Biology, 13(6), 473-480.