Immunotherapy as a strategy for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer

Gregory E. Holt, Eckhard R. Podack, Luis E. Raez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Positive modulation of a patient's immune system to produce antitumor immunity is an attractive strategy that may improve the dismal outcomes typically associated with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Using methods that either augment specific antitumor immunity or positively influence the patient's immune system to allow the de novo generation of immunity to encompass current strategies used in recent clinical trials of NSCLC. Encouraging results of Phase II trials in antigen-specific immunotherapy have led to three subsequent Phase III trials, which are currently enrolling. Results of these trials will improve our understanding of the role that immunotherapy plays in the treatment of NSCLC. Successful application of a humoral vaccine in Cuba led to its approval for the treatment of advanced NSCLC patients in that country. To date, trials involving nonspecific immunotherapeutic interventions have failed to improve outcomes in NSCLC and may indicate a need to combine them with antigen-specific vaccines. Although these trials will greatly advance our knowledge of NSCLC immunotherapy, we believe truly efficacious immunotherapy may only result from implementation of strategies to both augment antitumor immunity and counteract tumor-mediated immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • allogenic tumor cell vaccines
  • CpG oligonucleotides
  • EGF
  • immunotherapy
  • lung cancer vaccine
  • MAGE-A3
  • MUC1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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