The three major conventional treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, have been commonly performed for lung cancer. However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Immunotherapy has recently emerged as a very effective new treatment modality, and there is now growing enthusiasm for cancer immunotherapy worldwide. However, the results of clinical studies using immunotherapy are not always favorable. Understanding the steps involved in the recognition and eradication of cancer cells by the immune system seems essential to understanding why past immunotherapies have failed and how current therapies can be optimally utilized. In addition, the combination of immunotherapies, such as cancer vaccines and immune checkpoint inhibitors, as well as the combination of these therapies with three conventional therapies, may pave the way for personalized immunotherapy. In this review, we summarize the results of immunotherapies used in phase III clinical trials, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, and discuss the future prospects of immunotherapies in lung cancer treatment.
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