Multiple sclerosis treatment and melanoma development

Maria Luigia Carbone, Pedro Miguel Lacal, Serena Messinese, Laura De Giglio, Carlo Pozzilli, Severino Persechino, Cinzia Mazzanti, Cristina Maria Failla, Gianluca Pagnanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Therapy of multiple sclerosis (MS) with disease-modifying agents such as natalizumab or fingolimod has been associated with the development of cutaneous melanoma. Here we briefly revise literature data and report of a case of a 48-year old woman who developed a melanoma and several atypical naevi after sub sequential treatment with natalizumab (1 year) and fingolimod (7 years). By immunohistochemistry we observed the presence of T cells and leukocyte infiltration as well as of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A expression in the patient melanoma biopsy. Then, we analyzed proliferation, migration and VEGF-A expression in three melanoma cell lines and found out that both natalizumab and fingolimod inhibited tumor cell proliferation but promoted or blocked cell migration depending on the cell line examined. VEGF-A secretion was augmented in one melanoma cell line only after fingolimod treatment. In conclusion, our in vitro data do not support the hypothesis of a direct action of natalizumab or fingolimod on melanoma progression but acting on the tumor microenvironment these treatments could indirectly favor melanoma evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2950
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Fingolimod
  • Melanoma
  • Natalizumab
  • VEGF-A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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