• Vaccines for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer: investigational approaches and clinical experience.

      Mellstedt, H; Vansteenkiste, J; Thatcher, Nick; Cancer Centre Karolinska, Department of Oncology, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden. (2011-07)
      Globally, lung cancer remains the most common malignancy and the leading cause of cancer-related death. Whilst resection is a therapeutic option for patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), most patients have locally advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis, the treatment of which still presents a considerable challenge for medical oncologists. Therapeutic cancer vaccines offer a novel approach for the treatment of patients with NSCLC in both the adjuvant and advanced disease settings. Although early attempts to use such technologies were of limited success, increased knowledge of the molecular pathology of tumors, of the immune system in general, and of tumor immunity in particular, has facilitated the production of more sophisticated anticancer vaccines. A number of promising vaccine candidates based on different types of antigenic stimulus have now been evaluated in clinical studies. These include belagenpumatucel-L, a vaccine derived from four genetically modified, irradiated NSCLC cell lines and target protein-specific vaccines designed to induce responses against epidermal growth factor (EGF), melanoma-associated antigen A3 (MAGE-A3) and mucin 1 (MUC1). The purpose of this review is to describe the mode of action of the vaccine candidates that are most advanced in their clinical development for the treatment of NSCLC, and to summarize the most recent data from clinical studies of these vaccines.