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Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Breast Cancer

  • April Swoboda
  • Rita NandaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 173)

Abstract

An effective antitumor immune response requires interaction between cells of the adaptive and innate immune system. Three key elements are required: generation of activated tumor-directed T cells, infiltration of activated T cells into the tumor microenvironment, and killing of tumor cells by activated T cells. Tumor immune evasion can occur as a result of the disruption of each of these three key T cell activities, resulting in three distinct cancer-immune phenotypes. The immune inflamed phenotype, characterized by the presence of a robust tumor immune infiltrate, suggests impaired activated T cell killing of tumor cells related to the presence of inhibitory factors. Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) is an inhibitory transmembrane protein expressed on T cells, B cells, and NK cells. The interaction between PD-1 and its ligands (PD-L1/L2) functions as an immune checkpoint against unrestrained cytotoxic T effector cell activity—it promotes peripheral T effector cell exhaustion and conversion of T effector cells to immunosuppressive T regulatory (Treg) cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, which block the PD-1/PD-L1 axis and reactivate cytotoxic T effector cell function, are actively being investigated for the treatment of breast cancer.

Keywords

Breast cancer Immunotherapy Immune checkpoint inhibitors 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Hematology/OncologyChicagoUSA

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