Current Issues and Clinical Evidence in Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Breast Cancer

J Pathol Transl Med. 2015 Sep;49(5):355-63. doi: 10.4132/jptm.2015.07.29. Epub 2015 Aug 17.


With the advance in personalized therapeutic strategies in patients with breast cancer, there is an increasing need for biomarker-guided therapy. Although the immunogenicity of breast cancer has not been strongly considered in research or practice, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are emerging as biomarkers mediating tumor response to treatments. Earlier studies have provided evidence that the level of TILs has prognostic value and the potential for predictive value, particularly in triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer. Moreover, the level of TILs has been associated with treatment outcome in patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. To date, no standardized methodology for measuring TILs has been established. In this article, we review current issues and clinical evidence for the use of TILs in breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast neopalsms; Immune system; Lymphocytes, tumor-infiltrating; Triple negative breast neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Review