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Vitiligo and melanoma | Vitiligine: Sintomi, Terapia e Cura

Vitiligo and melanoma

Numerous studies have been carried out on a possible connection between vitiligo and melanoma. However, the frequency of this association is very controversial.

Dermatological research has shown that the immune system is involved in both vitiligo and in melanoma, probably intervening in the process of aggression that characterizes both these disorders.

This is not all: the latest studies suggest that people with vitiligo have a better prognosis in the case that they develop melanoma.

The immune attack to melanocytes that occurs in vitiligo also affects the melanocytes in melanoma, disturbing their growth and, therefore, the mortality deriving from this skin disease.

For this reason the association between vitiligo and melanoma is of great interest to dermatologists, immunologists and oncologists, who find a starting point in this naturally occurring combination for studies which should lead, in the near future, to an effective immunotherapy for melanoma.

There are, however, differences between the common vitiligo and the type that occurs in patients with melanoma, because in these latter cases, the white patches of the skin more frequently appear on the trunk and spread centrifugally, without the classical, bilateral, symmetrical distribution.