J Cancer 2013; 4(5):371-382. doi:10.7150/jca.6625

Research Paper

Ex Vivo Derived Primary Melanoma Cells: Implications for Immunotherapeutic Vaccines

Robert Suriano 1, Shilpi Rajoria1, Andrea L.George1, Jan Geliebter1, Marc Wallack1, 2, Raj K. Tiwari1, ✉

1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, 10595;
2. Metropolitan Hospital Center GNS, Department of Surgery, 1901 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10029.


Transformation of the pigment producing melanocytes into melanoma is a complex multi-step process involving the enhanced expression of various antigens considered as immunotherapeutic targets. Significant progress in melanoma research has been made over the years and has resulted in the identification of various antigens over expressed in melanoma as well as advances in immunotherapeutic treatments, which focus on modulating the immune systems response to melanoma. Despite these advances, incidences of melanoma are still on the rise thus warranting additional research in identifying new therapeutic treatments. Our focus is on developing a multivalent immunotherapeutic vaccine that targets various melanoma associated antigens. The approach focuses on the use of five primary patient derived melanoma cells (MEL-2, MEL-V, 3MM, KFM, and GLM-2, which have been characterized in this study. These cells express differential amounts of various melanoma associated antigens such as MART-1, gp100 (Pmel17), MAGE-A1 and tyrosinase as well a cell surface antigens essential for melanoma cell metastasis, such as CD146 and CD71. In addition these cells display differential in vitro migratory and invasive properties as well as have the ability to form solid tumors when implanted into BALB/c nude mice. The retention of the innate phenotype of these primary patient derived cells together with the expression of a multitude repertoire of melanoma associated antigens offers a novel opportunity to target melanoma so as to avoid immune evasion.

Keywords: immunotherapeutic vaccine, melanoma cells

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How to cite this article:
Suriano R, Rajoria S, L.George A, Geliebter J, Wallack M, Tiwari RK. Ex Vivo Derived Primary Melanoma Cells: Implications for Immunotherapeutic Vaccines. J Cancer 2013; 4(5):371-382. doi:10.7150/jca.6625. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v04p0371.htm