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After Coley's observation in 1891 of tumor regression in a patient who developed a postoperative infection, the field of immunotherapy is finally reborn. Avoiding immune destruction is now considered a hallmark of cancer, and the immunotherapy arena has exploded with the recent advances demonstrating an improvement in survival and a durability of response in patients with different cancer types, which translates into improved overall survival benefit. Here, we provide an overview of the main immune-oncology treatment strategies that, either alone or in combination, are undergoing clinical development. Namely, we will refer to those immunotherapeutic strategies that include adoptive transfer of ex vivo activated T cells, immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies, and cancer vaccines. Our major focus will be to describe these approaches in melanoma, a cancer type transformed by immunotherapy into a potentially curable disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers in oncology

Publication Date





Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore, MD , USA.