Immunomodulation in choroidal melanoma: Reversal of inverted CD4/CD8 ratios following treatment with ultrasonic hyperthermia
It has long been suggested that malignant melanomas, cutaneous as well as uveal, are responsive to human immune-mediated host defenses. We report here 5 consecutive cases of posterior choroidal melanomas which were treated with hyperthermia generated by high-intensity focused ultrasound. Patient immune function was monitored by determination of T-cell helper/suppressor (CD4/CD8) ratios immediately before and approximately 1 week following hyperthermia treatment. All 5 patients had normal total T-cell counts as measured by the pan-T-cell marker CD3. Two patients were noted to have inverted CD4/CD8 ratios (< 1:1) before hyperthermia. In both these cases, the ratio reverted to normal (> 1:1) 1 week following treatment. One patient whose CD4/CD8 ratio was not inverted was noted to have a further increase in his CD4 T cells relative to his CD8 (37% increase). Two patients with initially normal CD4/CD8 demonstrated no significant change following hyperthermia. It appears that ultrasonic hyperthermia may induce a systemic immunomodulatory effect in patients with posterior choroidal melanoma and inverted T-cell helper/suppressor resulting in a normalization of T-cell subset ratios.