INTRODUCTION: Despite the success of immunotherapies for melanoma in recent years, there remains a significant proportion of patients who do not yet derive benefit from available treatments. Immunotherapies currently licensed for clinical use target the adaptive immune system, focussing on Tcell interactions and functions. However, the most prevalent immune cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME) of melanoma are macrophages, a diverse immune cell subset displaying high plasticity, to which no current therapies are yet directly targeted. Macrophages have been shown not only to activate the adaptive immune response, and enhance cancer cell killing, but, when influenced by factors within the TME of melanoma, these cells also promote melanoma tumorigenesis and metastasis.

AREAS COVERED: We present a review of the most up-to-date literatureavailable on PubMed, focussing on studies from within the last 10 years. We also include data from ongoing and recent clinical trials targeting macrophages in melanoma listed on clinicaltrials.gov.

EXPERT OPINION: Understanding the multifaceted role of macrophages in melanoma, including their interactions with immune and cancer cells, the influence of current therapies on macrophage phenotype and functions and how macrophages could be targeted with novel treatment approaches, are all critical for improving outcomes for patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Review Of Clinical Immunology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2024


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