Role of interferon in melanoma: old hopes and new perspectives

Martina Sanlorenzo, Igor Vujic, Fabrizio Carnevale-Schianca, Pietro Quaglino, Loretta Gammaitoni, Maria Teresa Fierro, Massimo Aglietta, Dario Sangiolo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Interferons (IFNs) play a key role in modulating anti-microbial and antitumor immune responses. In oncology, past attempts to exploit IFNs therapeutically did not fulfill expectations, and had only modest clinical results, mostly limited to adjuvant melanoma treatment. The recent successes of immunotherapy in oncology have brought new attention to the potential of immune-modulatory agents like the IFNs. Areas covered: The authors review the biological effects of IFN on melanoma and immune cells. Then, the authors summarize the clinical results of adjuvant and therapeutic IFN in melanoma, giving focus to possible prognostic factors and new on-going clinical trials. Expert opinion: IFNs offer intriguing opportunities for synergism between conventional treatments and recently introduced molecular-targeted and immunotherapy approaches. However, the full comprehension of all IFN effects and their multiple biologic links is challenging. A strong commitment toward parallel translational research is needed to facilitate the interpretation of IFN’s expected and unexpected effects, guiding the rational design of informative clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2017


  • immunotherapy
  • Interferon
  • melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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