, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 19-25
Date: 31 Jan 2014

Immunotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer: current approaches

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Lung cancer has long been regarded as a poor candidate for immunotherapy, because it has a relatively low content of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes compared with, for example, melanoma. However, new developments in immunotherapy are about to change this situation. Therapeutic vaccines are different from the well-known prophylactic vaccines, in that they are designed to treat patients already suffering from a disease instead of preventing the disease in healthy individuals. Several therapeutic vaccines are in late-stage clinical development for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These vaccines use different approaches, including peptides, cell lines or viral vectors, and are used in different settings within the pathology. Some are given as monotherapy, whereas others are combined with traditional therapy for this indication. More recently developed, and very promising, are the checkpoint-blocking antibodies. It is likely that in the future several approaches, including immunotherapy products, will be combined in the evolving standard of care for lung cancer. This review gives a summary of the candidate immunotherapy products currently in late-stage clinical development for NSCLC.