Melanoma is a malignant tumor arising from the uncontrolled proliferation of melanocytes, melanin-producing cells that are mainly located in the bottom layer of the epidermis. The number of people diagnosed with melanoma has risen over the past decades. Around 10% of all people with this cancer have a family history of the disease. Melanoma is mainly reported among fair-skinned Caucasian populations, because of the reduced photo-protection due to the reduced pigmentation. It usually occurs in the skin, but it can also occur in the intestines, mouth, and eye.
Survival depends on the primary melanoma thickness, on lymph nodes involvement, and on whether the melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body. After metastasis, median survival with treatment, including immunotherapeutics, ranges from 8 to 12 months. However, more recently developed combined immunotherapeutic treatments with radiation can increase survival by several years.
The gut microbiome strongly interacts with the immune system, contributing to inflammation, local or systemic. Microbiome can thus promote the development of an inflammatory microenvironment that can interfere with immune checkpoint inhibitors for melanoma and other cancer types.
hgma3 - Melanoma - United States of America