Vaccines in non-small cell lung cancer: Rationale, combination strategies and update on clinical trials

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Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality worldwide and despite some advances in therapy the overall prognosis remains disappointing. New therapeutic approaches like vaccination have been proposed and several clinical trials are ongoing.Many tumor antigens have been identified so far and specific tumor vaccines targeting these antigens have been developed. Even if the ideal setting for vaccine therapy might be the adjuvant one, vaccines seem to be potentially beneficial also in advanced disease and combination therapy could be a promising treatment option.In the advanced setting anti-MUC-1 vaccine (belagenpumatucel) and anti-TGF-β2 vaccine (BPL-25) have entered in phase III trials as maintenance therapy after first line chemotherapy. In the adjuvant setting the most relevant and promising vaccines are directed against MAGE-A3 and PRAME, respectively.We will review the key points for effective active immunotherapies and combination therapies, giving an update on the most promising vaccines developed in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012



  • Adjuvant vaccines
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Tumor antigens
  • Vaccine therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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