Harnessing the immune system in the battle against breast cancer

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Abstract

Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in women and the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Despite major innovations in early detection and advanced therapeutics, up to 30% of women with nodenegative breast cancer and 70% of women with node-positive breast cancer will develop recurrence. The recognition that breast tumors are infiltrated by a complex array of immune cells that influence their development, progression, and metastasis, as well as their responsiveness to systemic therapies has sparked major interest in the development of immunotherapies. In fact, not only the native host immune system can be altered to promote potent antitumor response, but also its components can be manipulated to generate effective therapeutic strategies. We present here a review of the major approaches to immunotherapy in breast cancers, both successes and failures, as well as new therapies on the horizon.

Keywords: adoptive transfer, breast cancer, cancer vaccine, cytokines, immunomodulation, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibody, oncolytic virotherapy.

Citation: Nakasone ES, Hurvitz SA, McCann KE. Harnessing the immune system in the battle against breast cancer. Drugs in Context 2018; 7: 212520. DOI: 10.7573/dic.212520

Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest: The authors have declared that there are no conflicts of interest. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Potential Conflicts of Interests form for the authors are available for download at: https://www.drugsincontext.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dic.212520-COI.pdf

Funding declaration: No financial support was received.

Copyright: Copyright © 2018 Nakasone ES, Hurvitz SA, McCann KE. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No commercial use without permission.

Correct attribution: Copyright © 2018 Nakasone ES, Hurvitz SA, McCann KE. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.212520. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.

Article URL: https://www.drugsincontext.com/harnessing-the-immune-system-in-the-battle-against-breast-cancer

Correspondence: Kelly E McCann, Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCLA Department of Medicine, 2020 Santa Monica Suite 580, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA. kmccann@mednet.ucla.edu

Provenance: invited; externally peer reviewed.

Submitted: 5 December 2017; Peer review comments to author: 9 January 2018; Revised manuscript received: 16 January 2018; Accepted: 17 January 2018; Publication date: 12 February 2018.

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