T cell coinhibition and immunotherapy in human breast cancer

Discov Med. 2012 Oct;14(77):229-36.


Costimulation and coinhibition generated by the B7 family and their receptor CD28 family have key roles in regulating T lymphocyte activation and tolerance. These pathways are very attractive therapeutic targets for human cancers including breast cancer. Gene polymorphisms of B7x (B7-H4/B7S1), PD-1 (CD279), and CTLA-4 (CD152) are associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer although the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In human breast cancer microenvironment, up-regulation of coinhibitory B7/CD28 members B7x, B7-H3 (CD276), and PD-L1 (B7-H1/CD274) on tumor cells as well as PD-1 and PD-L1 on tumor-infiltrating immune cells are emerging as immune evasion pathways. Chemotherapy can affect the expression of these molecules, and therefore may dampen the immune response against breast cancer. Immunotherapy targeting T cell coinhibition as monotherapy or combined with standard therapies are in early stages of clinical development, but hold great promise for treatment of human breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • DNA Adducts / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • DNA Adducts