Providing effective personalized immunotherapy for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients requires a detailed understanding of the composition of the tumor microenvironment. Both the tumor cell and non-tumor components of TNBC can exhibit tremendous heterogeneity in individual patients and change over time. Delineating cellular phenotypes and spatial topographies associated with distinct immunological states and the impact of chemotherapy will be necessary to optimally time immunotherapy. The clinical successes in immunotherapy have intensified research on the tumor microenvironment, aided by a plethora of high-dimensional technologies to define cellular phenotypes. These high-dimensional technologies include, but are not limited to, single cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, T cell repertoire analyses, advanced flow cytometry, imaging mass cytometry, and their integration. In this review, we discuss the cellular phenotypes and spatial patterns of the lymphoid-, myeloid-, and stromal cells in the TNBC microenvironment and the potential value of mapping these features onto tumor cell genotypes.
Keywords: breast cancer; immune profiling; single cell; spatial profiling; tumor evolution.