Author(s): Ugurel S, Paschen A, Becker JC
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Abstract Chemotherapeutic drugs are clinically used to treat cancer because of their cytotoxic activities against tumor cells. Recently, however, evidence is accumulating-including the report of Hervieu et al. (2012) in the current issue of The Journal of Investigative Dermatology-indicating that at least some of these drugs have broader activities and that they should also be considered immunomodulatory agents. Indeed, Hervieu demonstrates that dacarbazine (DTIC) exerts immunostimulatory effects by inducing local activation of natural killer (NK) and T cells, suggesting that upon treatment with DTIC, the tumor participates in the initiation of an immune response: (i) DTIC treatment elicits the expression of ligands of the immunoreceptor NKG2D on melanoma cells; (ii) engagement of the ligands by NKG2D on NK cells leads to their activation, allowing enhanced tumor-cell killing and the release of IFN-γ; and (iii) IFN-γ in turn upregulates major histocompatibility complex class I expression on tumor cells, which favors their recognition by cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs).
This article was published in J Invest Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Dermatitis