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Immune responses can be generated locally within human melanoma skin metastases
Date:7/31/2012

st, lung and colorectal tumors, but not melanoma. In some studies, their presence has been linked to improved prognosis.

Van Baren and colleagues observed ectopic lymphoid structures in seven out of 29 skin metastases from patients with melanoma. In contrast, no primary melanoma samples examined contained complete ectopic lymphoid structures. However, some of them hosted small blood vessels that are associated with these structures.

Further analyses indicated that the ectopic lymphoid structures were functional, as features indicative of activation of the B cell lymphocyte subset were observed.

"It is important to have established that immune responses can be generated locally, at least in skin metastases," said van Baren. "In fact, this last point, that we detected functional lymphoid structures in skin metastases and not in primary tumors, is extremely intriguing. We think that understanding the reasons for this difference will be highly informative in determining how antimelanoma immune responses develop during disease progression."

The sample size was too small to allow the researchers to draw clinically meaningful conclusions. "Nonetheless, it will be important to look at this moving forward, as it is not yet clear whether these structures are good for the patient and bad for the tumor or good for the tumor and bad for the patient. At this point, there is no indication either way, and we could provide a speculative argument for either."


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Contact: Jeremy Moore
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
215-446-7109
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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