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Tumour vaccine therapy in the clinical study of melanoma

The place of tumour vaccine therapy remains the most contentious issue in the clinical study of melanoma.
Vaccinia viral lysates, co-administered with melanoma cell preparations, have been studied as tumour vaccines as have gangliosides and mixed melanoma cell lines co-administered with various immunological adjuvants, chosen for their properties in engendering an immune resoponse to create newer vaccines against melanoma cells.
Dendritic cells, harvested from peripheral blood, and mixed with various cytokines (small protein molecules that mediate cell function and are intimately involved with the immune response) as well as melanoma peptides are a currently fashionable recipe for vaccine composition. All workers are encouraged that there is a clinically useful future for vaccines in the therapy of metastatic melanoma (and it will have to be proven in this setting before it can be moved up into adjuvant therapy after surgery for localised disesease) but the optimum vaccine is far from decided.