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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 250860, 10 pages
Review Article

Immunotherapy for Lung Cancers

1Department of Biotechnology, and Laboratory Science in Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
2Institute of Marine Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan
3Department of Education and Research, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
4Division of Pediatric, Taipei City Hospital, Yang-Ming Branch, Taipei 11146, Taiwan

Received 17 September 2010; Revised 15 November 2010; Accepted 23 December 2010

Academic Editor: James L. Gulley

Copyright © 2011 Ming-Yi Ho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Although treatment methods in surgery, irradiation, and chemotherapy have improved, prognosis remains unsatisfactory and developing new therapeutic strategies is still an urgent demand. Immunotherapy is a novel therapeutic approach wherein activated immune cells can specifically kill tumor cells by recognition of tumor-associated antigens without damage to normal cells. Several lung cancer vaccines have demonstrated prolonged survival time in phase II and phase III trials, and several clinical trials are under investigation. However, many clinical trials involving cancer vaccination with defined tumor antigens work in only a small number of patients. Cancer immunotherapy is not completely effective in eradicating tumor cells because tumor cells escape from host immune scrutiny. Understanding of the mechanism of immune evasion regulated by tumor cells is required for the development of more effective immunotherapeutic approaches against lung cancer. This paper discusses the identification of tumor antigens in lung cancer, tumor immune escape mechanisms, and clinical vaccine trials in lung cancer.