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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 160724, 21 pages
Review Article

Lung Cancer: A Classic Example of Tumor Escape and Progression While Providing Opportunities for Immunological Intervention

1Research Service, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, 5901 E. 7th Street, Long Beach, CA 90822, USA
2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
3Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Irvine School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Orange, CA 92868, USA
4Health Care Group, Department of Diagnostic and Molecular Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, 5901 East 7th Street, Box 113, Long Beach, CA 90822, USA

Received 7 March 2012; Revised 29 April 2012; Accepted 30 April 2012

Academic Editor: Nejat Egilmez

Copyright © 2012 Martin R. Jadus 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 cancers remain one of the most common and deadly cancers in the world today (12.5% of newly diagnosed cancers) despite current advances in chemo- and radiation therapies. Often, by the time these tumors are diagnosed, they have already metastasized. These tumors demonstrate the classic hallmarks of cancer in that they have advanced defensive strategies allowing them to escape various standard oncological treatments. Immunotherapy is making inroads towards effectively treating other fatal cancers, such as melanoma, glioblastoma multiforme, and castrate-resistant prostate cancers. This paper will cover the escape mechanisms of bronchogenic lung cancer that must be overcome before they can be successfully treated. We also review the history of immunotherapy directed towards lung cancers.