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Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer is Finally at the Doorstep: Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer

Abstract

Background

Although immunotherapy is making rapid inroads as a major treatment method for melanoma, lung, bladder, and hereditary colon cancer, breast cancer (BC) remains one of the tumors yet to experience the cellular immunology explosion despite the fact that heavy lymphocyte responses in breast tumors improve response to therapy and can predict for long-term survival.

Results

Immunotherapies in the form of monoclonal antibodies such as trastuzumab and pertuzumab have had an impact on HER2-positive breast cancer (HER2+BC) treatment through antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Current evidence suggests that checkpoint inhibitors and other cellular therapies are at the doorstep of improving outcomes in triple-negative BC (TNBC) and HER2+BC, especially when combined with standard therapies.

Conclusions

Although this approach has benefitted small numbers of patients to date, numerous clinical trials are underway to define the relative role immunotherapy may play in the treatment of BC.

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Correspondence to Brian J. Czerniecki MD, PhD.

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Disclosure

Dr. Czerniecki has a sponsored research agreement with immuno-restoration and has intellectual property on the DC1 vaccine.

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De La Cruz, L.M., Czerniecki, B.J. Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer is Finally at the Doorstep: Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 25, 2852–2857 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-018-6620-5

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Keywords

  • Triple-negative BC (TNBC)
  • Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy
  • Major Treatment Methods
  • Tumor-infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs)
  • HER2-positive DCIS