The case of a 47 year-old woman presenting a wide abdominal zone with vitiligo like hypopigmentation is reported.

In 1977 she underwent, in the same site, melanoma (III Clarke's level) extirpation and local immunotherapy by DNCB ( dinitrochlorobenzene ).

Moshe Inbar et Al. ( Melanoma Research 1996/6/457-459 ) refers a case of melanoma, treated by DNCB in 1973, showing, the new skin, over the back, characterized by vitiligo like hypopigmentation and lack of hair.

The association vitiligo-melanoma has been known for several years.
S.Roul et Al. ( Nouv. Dermatol. 1996/15/574-578 ) analysed II cases coming to the conclusion that, althought the physiopathologic mechanism is unknown, it surely represents an immune reaction of the organism.

Ideed, an increasing number of antibodies against antigens of melanocytes and of melanoma malignant cells was observed (antigens 40-45 Kd / 79-90 Kd), and this is related to the extension of hypopigmented skin ( Cui and Bystrin, 1995 ).

Nevertheless, in rats with melanoma, exhibition of antibodies of vitiligo patients have been shown to prevent the development of lung metastates ( Fishman et Al. Cancer 1993/72/2365-2370 ).

Therefore, differently of vitiligo, vitiligo-like hypopigmentation observed after local immunotherapy, in course of melanoma, can be an inducted local immunoreaction capable to reduce local recidivism. (Abstract).

Prof. Camillo O. Di Cicco, MD. Presented at "The Seventh World Congress on Cancers of the Skin"
Catholic University of Rome, Italy.