Erythroid differentiation regulator 1, an interleukin 18-regulated gene, acts as a metastasis suppressor in melanoma.
The immunobiology of melanoma has dominated the investigative field in tumor immunology. Indeed, the best evidence of immunogenicity of a spontaneously grown human cancer has been found in this model. Yet considerable doubt has lingered on the very issue of tumor immunity in general and on the subject of melanoma immunity as well. To a great extent, the doubt has persisted mostly because of our past inability to define a true tumor antigen. Fortunately, the human melanoma model has given us a remarkable insight into what had been one of the most tenaciously elusive issues in tumor immunology, namely, the structural definition of "tumor antigens": the raison d'être for tumor immunology. This review is confined to the areas of structural definition of melanoma antigens and to the topic of cellular immunity to melanoma because most of the recent findings have occurred in these areas. The topic of melanoma immunotherapy and novel opportunities for immunotherapy in this disease is also discussed.