Research ArticleCANCER

Resident memory T cells in the skin mediate durable immunity to melanoma

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Science Immunology  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 10, eaam6346
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aam6346

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Resident memory to cancer

Melanoma patients with vitiligo are more likely to have a positive outcome, but the mechanism behind this association has remained unclear. Now, Malik et al. report that skin-resident memory T (TRM) cells specific to melanoma antigens are maintained in vitiligo-affected skin. These cells persist and function independently of the lymphoid compartment, suggesting that the vitiligo lesions provide a niche for the TRM cells. The TRM cells provide durable memory to the tumor, even in pigmented skin. These data suggest that skin TRM cells are critical for maintaining antitumor immunity.