Breast Cancer Immunotherapy

Cell Mol Immunol. 2004 Aug;1(4):247-55.

Abstract

Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. Although tumorectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone replacement therapy have been used for the treatment of breast cancer, there is no effective therapy for patients with invasive and metastatic breast cancer. Immunotherapy may be proved effective in treating patients with advanced breast cancer. Breast cancer immunotherapy includes antibody based immunotherapy, cancer vaccine immunotherapy, adoptive T cell transfer immunotherapy and T cell receptor gene transfer immunotherapy. Antibody based immunotherapy such as the monoclonal antibody against HER-2/neu (trastuzumab) is successfully used in the treatment of breast cancer patients with over-expressed HER-2/neu, however, HER-2/neu is over-expressed only in 25-30% of breast cancer patients. Cancer vaccine immunotherapy is a promising method to treat cancer patients. Cancer vaccines can be used to induce specific anti-tumor immunity in breast cancer patients, but cannot induce objective tumor regression. Adoptive T cell transfer immunotherapy is an effective method in the treatment of melanoma patients. Recent advances in anti-tumor T cell generation ex vivo and limited clinical trial data have made the feasibility of adoptive T cell transfer immunotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer patients. T cell receptor gene transfer can redirect the specificity of T cells. Chimeric receptor, scFv(anti-HER-2/neu)/zeta receptor, was successfully used to redirect cytotoxic T lymphocyte hybridoma cells to obtain anti-HER-2/neu positive tumor cells, suggesting the feasibility of treatment of breast cancer patients with T cell receptor gene transfer immunotherapy. Clinical trials will approve that immunotherapy is an effective method to cure breast cancer disease in the near future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell