open access

Vol 82, No 3 (2014)
REVIEWS
Submitted: 2014-04-30
Accepted: 2014-04-30

Immune alterations in lung cancer — the new therapeutic approach

Joanna Domagała-Kulawik, Iwona Osińska
DOI: 10.5603/PiAP.2014.0034
·
Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2014;82(3):286-299.

open access

Vol 82, No 3 (2014)
REVIEWS
Submitted: 2014-04-30
Accepted: 2014-04-30

Abstract

Lung cancer is the main cause of cancer death worldwide. An advanced stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis, observed in the majority of cases, does not allow for introduction of radical treatment or makes the treatment ineffective. Lung cancer as a solid tumour with a very low antigenicity escapes immune surveillance, and cytotoxic cells attack. Cytotoxic lymphocytes play a key role in anticancer defence, but the population of these cells individually differs. Many suppressor and regulatory mechanisms inhibit the recognition of tumour antigens by dendritic and cytotoxic cell activation. The population of regulatory T cells (T regs) plays a crucial role in this inhibition of immune response. Their function depends on the expression of transcription factor Foxp3 and the presence of CTLA-4 molecules. The increased proportion of T regs and high expression of Foxp3 and CTLA-4 on lung cancer cells and tumour infiltrating lymphocytes were observed. Other components of immune response inhibition and tumour promotion are: Th17 cell population, M2 macrophage polarisation, the presence of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and a significantly elevated concentration of cytokines: TGF-b and IL-10 in the tumour microenvironment. The recognition of these mechanisms may have important therapeutic implications. Several types of agents which are capable of modulating the immune response have recently been used in many clinical trials conducted in lung cancer patients, some of them showing efficacy. Lung cancer immunotherapy has two main directions: the first goal is to improve the cytotoxic effect (for example by inhibition of CTLA-4, stimulation of dendritic cell function, inhibition of lymphocyte apoptosis), and the second way is the production of anti-cancer vaccines using known cancer antigens: MAGE A3, MUC1, EGF and TGF-b. Immunotherapy in lung cancer treatment has a character of personalised therapy — there is a need to specify the patient’s immune status prior to treatment. The analysis of immune cells and mediators in the peripheral blood allows this, but the more valuable method seems to be bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) examination with careful assessment of the tumour microenvironment.

Keywords

lung cancer, immunotherapy, cytotoxic lymphocytes, regulatory cells

About this article
Title

Immune alterations in lung cancer — the new therapeutic approach

Journal

Advances in Respiratory Medicine

Issue

Vol 82, No 3 (2014)

Pages

286-299

DOI

10.5603/PiAP.2014.0034

Bibliographic record

Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2014;82(3):286-299.

Keywords

lung cancer
immunotherapy
cytotoxic lymphocytes
regulatory cells

Authors

Joanna Domagała-Kulawik
Iwona Osińska

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