PD-L1 status in breast cancer: Current view and perspectives

Semin Cancer Biol. 2021 Jul:72:146-154. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.12.003. Epub 2019 Dec 26.


Breast cancer was traditionally not considered a particularly immunogenic tumor. However, recent developments have shown that some aggressive triple-negative breast cancers are immunogenic, exhibit a resistance to chemotherapy and have a poor prognosis. These cancers have been shown to express molecules identified as targets for immunotherapy. Despite the advances, the challenges are many, and include identifying the patients that may benefit from immunotherapy. The best methods to analyze these samples and to evaluate immunogenicity are also major challenges. Therefore, the most accurate and reliable assessment of immune cells as potential targets is one of the most important aims in the current research in breast immunotherapy. In the present review, we briefly discuss the mechanisms of the regulation of checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1/PD-L1) in breast cancer and explore the predictive aspects in the PD-L1 testing.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Immune checkpoint inhibitors; Immunotherapy; PD-L1; Testing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Microenvironment*


  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors