Neutrophils as potential therapeutic targets for breast cancer

Pharmacol Res. 2023 Dec:198:106996. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2023.106996. Epub 2023 Nov 14.


Breast cancer (BC) remains the foremost cause of cancer mortality globally, with neutrophils playing a critical role in its pathogenesis. As an essential tumor microenvironment (TME) component, neutrophils are emerging as pivotal factors in BC progression. Growing evidence has proved that neutrophils play a Janus- role in BC by polarizing into the anti-tumor (N1) or pro-tumor (N2) phenotype. Clinical trials are evaluating neutrophil-targeted therapies, including Reparixin (NCT02370238) and Tigatuzumab (NCT01307891); however, their clinical efficacy remains suboptimal. This review summarizes the evidence regarding the close relationship between neutrophils and BC, emphasizing the critical roles of neutrophils in regulating metabolic and immune pathways. Additionally, we summarize the existing therapeutic approaches that target neutrophils, highlighting the challenges, and affirming the rationale for continuing to explore neutrophils as a viable therapeutic target in BC management.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Immunotherapy; Metabolic pathway; Neutrophils; Targeted strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Microenvironment