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Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Oct;38(6):650-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2011.11.008. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Adjuvant immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer.

Author information

1
Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 6 White, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. ztucker@tcmedc.org

Abstract

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the biggest cancer killer in the United States and worldwide. In 2011, there are estimated to be 221,130 new cases of lung cancer in the United States. Over a million people will die of lung cancer worldwide this year alone. When possible, surgery to remove the tumor is the best treatment strategy for patients with NSCLC. However, even with adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy and radiation, more than 40% of patients will develop recurrences locally or systemically and ultimately succumb to their disease. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing superior approaches to treat patients who undergo surgery for NSCLC to eliminate residual disease that is likely responsible for these recurrences. Our group and others have been interested in using immunotherapy to augment the efficacy of current treatment strategies. Immunotherapy is very effective against minimal disease burden and small deposits of tumor cells that are accessible by the circulating immune cells. Therefore, this strategy may be ideally suited as an adjunct to surgery to seek and destroy microscopic tumor deposits that remain after surgery. This review describes the mechanistic underpinnings of immunotherapy and how it is currently being used to target residual disease and prevent postoperative recurrences after pulmonary resection in NSCLC.

PMID:
22226940
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctrv.2011.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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