Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Although natural killer (NK) cells are garnering interest as a potential anticancer therapy because they selectively recognize and eliminate cancer cells, their use in treating solid tumors, including lung cancer, has been limited due to impediments to their efficacy, such as their limited ability to reach tumor tissues, the reduced antitumor activity of tumor-infiltrating NK cells, and the suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). This comprehensive review provides an in-depth analysis of the cross-talk between the lung cancer TME and NK cells. We highlight the various mechanisms used by the TME to modulate NK-cell phenotypes and limit infiltration, explore the role of the TME in limiting the antitumor activity of NK cells, and discuss the current challenges and obstacles that hinder the success of NK-cell–based immunotherapy for lung cancer. Potential opportunities and promising strategies to address these challenges have been implemented or are being developed to optimize NK-cell–based immunotherapy for lung cancer. Through critical evaluation of existing literature and emerging trends, this review provides a comprehensive outlook on the future of NK-cell–based immunotherapy for treating lung cancer.

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