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Open AccessCommunication
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 286;

The Utilization of the Immune System in Lung Cancer Treatment: Beyond Chemotherapy

The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, the New Territories, Hong Kong, China
School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, the New Territories, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: M. Rita I. Young
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
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Lung cancer is ranked first worldwide as one of the main cancers in terms of prevalence and mortality rate. The development of effective treatment strategies against lung cancer is therefore of paramount importance. Traditionally, chemotherapy was employed in the treatment of various cancers. However, the non-specific nature of the actions of chemotherapeutic drugs and the potential for tumors to develop resistance to these drugs may render chemotherapy a less favorable option for cancer treatment. Immunotherapy provides an alternative strategy for this purpose. It involves the utilization of the immune system and the immune effector cells to elicit an immune response to the tumors, thereby eliminating them. Strategies include the administration of pro-inflammatory cytokines for immune stimulation, the removal of immunological checkpoints using monoclonal antibodies, and the use of cancer vaccines to enhance immunity against tumors. This article summarizes the above strategies, highlights the reasons why immunotherapy is superior to chemotherapy for the purpose of tumor removal, and reviews the recent clinical studies comparing the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing immunotherapy and chemotherapy. The article also describes advances in immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of lung cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: lung cancer; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; immune system lung cancer; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; immune system

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Chan, C.W.H.; Tsui, S.K.W.; Law, B.M.H.; So, W.K.W.; Tang, F.W.K.; Wong, C.-L. The Utilization of the Immune System in Lung Cancer Treatment: Beyond Chemotherapy. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 286.

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