Understanding the role of Toll-like receptors in lung cancer immunity and immunotherapy

Bettina Hoden, David DeRubeis, Margarita Martinez-Moczygemba, Kenneth S. Ramos, Dekai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Significant improvements in lung cancer therapeutics have relied on a better understanding of lung cancer immunity and the development of novel immunotherapies, as best exemplified by the introduction of PD-1/PD-L1-based therapies. However, this improvement is limited to lung cancer patients who respond to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Further improvements in immunotherapy may benefit from a better understanding of innate immune response mechanisms in the lung. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a key component of the innate immune response and mediate the early recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). TLR signaling modulates the tumor microenvironment from “cold” to “hot” leading to immune sensitization of tumor cells to treatments and improved patient prognosis. In addition, TLR signaling activates the adaptive immune response to improve the response to cancer immunotherapy through the regulation of anti-tumor T cell activity. This review will highlight recent progress in our understanding of the role of TLRs in lung cancer immunity and immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1033483
Pages (from-to)1033483
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Oct 31 2022


  • Toll-like receptors
  • cancer immunity
  • immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • immunotherapy
  • innate immunity
  • lung cancer
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Humans
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lung Neoplasms/therapy
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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