Dendritic cells, inflammation, and breast cancer

Cancer J. Nov-Dec 2013;19(6):511-6. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000007.


Solid tumors are well known for their genomic heterogeneity. Although some aspects of this derive from so-called driver mutations, it is now clear that tumor cells possess a seemingly limitless capacity to evade cell death pathway activation, maintain essential survival programming, and initiate resistance networks that block efficacy of cytotoxic and targeted therapy. Given this amazing survival capability, how then to design approaches for effective eradication of malignant cells? Also present within all solid tumors is a diverse assemblage of genomically stable immune cell types. Whereas some of these possess documented activities that foster tumor progression, others possess inherent activities that when favored lead to rapid tumor cell elimination. This review focuses on aspects of dendritic cell biology in solid tumors, especially breast cancers, which point to dendritic cells as a tractable tool to exploit for immune-based therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Death / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology