Lung Cancer and Immunity Markers

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Dec;29(12):2423-2430. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0716. Epub 2020 Aug 20.


An in-depth understanding of lung cancer biology and mechanisms of tumor progression has facilitated significant advances in the treatment of lung cancer. There remains a pressing need for the development of innovative approaches to detect and intercept lung cancer at its earliest stage of development. Recent advances in genomics, computational biology, and innovative technologies offer unique opportunities to identify the immune landscape in the tumor microenvironment associated with early-stage lung carcinogenesis, and provide further insight in the mechanism of lung cancer evolution. This review will highlight the concept of immunoediting and focus on recent studies assessing immune changes and biomarkers in pulmonary premalignancy and early-stage non-small cell lung cancer. A protumor immune response hallmarked by an increase in checkpoint inhibition and inhibitory immune cells and a simultaneous reduction in antitumor immune response have been correlated with tumor progression. The potential systemic biomarkers associated with early lung cancer will be highlighted along with current clinical efforts for lung cancer interception. Research focusing on the development of novel strategies for cancer interception prior to the progression to advanced stages will potentially lead to a paradigm shift in the treatment of lung cancer and have a major impact on clinical outcomes.See all articles in this CEBP Focus section, "NCI Early Detection Research Network: Making Cancer Detection Possible."

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology


  • Biomarkers