Tumor vaccines and cellular immunotherapies may improve overall and progression-free survival of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a meta-analysis of 6756 patients with NSCLC among 18 randomized controlled trials; patients were investigated for cellular immunotherapy or vaccines to assess efficacy.

Random effects models were used to analyze overall and progression-free survival, which were expressed as hazard ratios and differences in time. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were used to assess for effect of immunotherapy type, disease stage, tumor histology and concurrent chemotherapy.

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Immunotherapy extended overall survival and progression-free survival, with a difference of time in months of 5.43 and 3.24, respectively. Cellular therapies outperformed tumor vaccines.

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Immunotherapy was associated with a benefit for low-stage patients with NSCLC, compared to high-stage patients, as well as with concurrent administration of chemotherapy among 1 of 4 evaluated outcome measures. Tumor histology had no significant effect on overall or progression-free survival.


  1. Dammeijer F, Lievense LA, Veerman GDM, et al. The efficacy of tumor vaccines and cellular immunotherapies in non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 18 Jul 2016. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.66.3955 [Epub ahead of print]