Immune Therapy

  • Lysanne Lievense
  • Joachim Aerts
  • Joost HegmansEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 893)


Lung cancer has long been considered an unsuitable target for immunotherapy due to its proposed immunoresistant properties. However, recent evidence has shown that anti-tumor immune responses can occur in lung cancer patients, paving the way for lung cancer as a novel target for immunotherapy. In order to take full advantage of the potential of immunotherapy, research is focusing on the presence and function of various immunological cell types in the tumor microenvironment. Immune cells which facilitate or inhibit antitumor responses have been identified and their prognostic value in lung cancer has been established. Knowledge regarding these pro- and anti-tumor immune cells and their mechanisms of action has facilitated the identification of numerous potential immunotherapeutic strategies and opportunities for intervention. A plethora of immunotherapeutic approaches is currently being developed and studied in lung cancer patients and phase 3 clinical trials are ongoing. Many different immunotherapies have shown promising clinical effects in patients with limited and advanced stage lung cancer, however, future years will have to tell whether immunotherapy will earn its place in the standard treatment of lung cancer.


Cancer immunotherapy Tumor microenvironment Immunosuppressive cells Regulatory T cells Myeloid-derived suppressor cells Tumor-associated macrophages Tumor antigens Tumor vaccines Cellular immunotherapy Personalized medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lysanne Lievense
    • 1
  • Joachim Aerts
    • 1
  • Joost Hegmans
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary MedicineErasmus MC Cancer InstituteRotterdamThe Netherlands

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