Microenvironment, oncoantigens, and antitumor vaccination: lessons learned from BALB-neuT mice

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:534969. doi: 10.1155/2014/534969. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Abstract

The tyrosine kinase human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene is amplified in approximately 20% of human breast cancers and is associated with an aggressive clinical course and the early development of metastasis. Its crucial role in tumor growth and progression makes HER2 a prototypic oncoantigen, the targeting of which may be critical for the development of effective anticancer therapies. The setup of anti-HER2 targeting strategies has revolutionized the clinical outcome of HER2(+) breast cancer. However, their initial success has been overshadowed by the onset of pharmacological resistance that renders them ineffective. Since the tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a crucial role in drug resistance, the design of more effective anticancer therapies should depend on the targeting of both cancer cells and their TME as a whole. In this review, starting from the successful know-how obtained with a HER2(+) mouse model of mammary carcinogenesis, the BALB-neuT mice, we discuss the role of TME in mammary tumor development. Indeed, a deeper knowledge of antigens critical for cancer outbreak and progression and of the mechanisms that regulate the interplay between cancer and stromal cell populations could advise promising ways for the development of the best anticancer strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / metabolism
  • Cancer Vaccines / pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm* / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm* / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental* / genetics
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental* / immunology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental* / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental* / pathology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental* / therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / immunology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology*

Substances

  • Cancer Vaccines
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2