Transplantable melanomas in hamsters and gerbils as models for human melanoma. Sensitization in melanoma radiotherapy—From animal models to clinical trials

Academic Article


  • The focus of the present review is to investigate the role of melanin in the radioprotection of melanoma and attempts to sensitize tumors to radiation by inhibiting melanogenesis. Early studies showed radical scavenging, oxygen consumption and adsorption as mechanisms of melanin radioprotection. Experimental models of melanoma in hamsters and in gerbils are described as well as their use in biochemical and radiobiological studies, including a spontaneously metastasizing ocular model. Some results from in vitro studies on the inhibition of melanogenesis are presented as well as radio-chelation therapy in experimental and clinical settings. In contrast to cutaneous melanoma, uveal melanoma is very successfully treated with radiation, both using photon and proton beams. We point out that the presence or lack of melanin pigmentation should be considered, when choosing therapeutic options, and that both the experimental and clinical data suggest that melanin could be a target for radiosensitizing melanoma cells to increase efficacy of radiotherapy against melanoma.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Śniegocka M; Podgórska E; Plonka PM; Elas M; Romanowska-Dixon B; Szczygiel M; Żmijewski MA; Cichorek M; Markiewicz A; Brożyna AA
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 4