Vitiligo in patients with melanoma: Normal tissue antigens can be targets for cancer immunotherapy

Steven A. Rosenberg, Donald E. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations


Patients with metastatic renal cell cancer and metastatic melanoma treated with high-dose interleukin-2-based immunotherapy were prospectively evaluated for the development of vitiligo. All patients seen in the Surgery Branch, NCI Immunotherapy Clinic, who had been followed for at least 1 year were evaluated. Of 104 patients with metastatic renal cancer none developed vitiligo, though vitiligo was seen in 11 of 74 (15%) patients with metastatic melanoma (p2 = 0.0001). No vitiligo was seen in 27 patients who did not respond to immunotherapy, although vitiligo was seen in 11 of 43 (26%) melanoma patients who had an objective response to IL-2-based immunotherapy (p2 = 0.0002). These findings provide further evidence that the presence of a growing melanoma can sensitize patients to melanocyte-differentiation antigens and that the immune response against these antigens is associated with cancer regression in patients undergoing immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 8 1996


  • Antigens, melanocyte-differentiation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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