Recent advances in the development of breast cancer vaccines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The manipulation of the immune system through the administration of a vaccine to direct an effective and long-lasting immune response against breast cancer (BC) cells is an attractive strategy. Vaccines would have several theoretical advantages over standard therapies, including low toxicities, high specificity, and long-lasting efficacy due to the establishment of immunological memory. However, BC vaccines have failed to demonstrate meaningful results in clinical trials so far. This reflects the intrinsic difficulty in breaking the complex immune-escaping mechanisms developed by cancer cells. New vaccines should be able to elicit complex immunologic response involving multiple immune effectors such as cytotoxic and antibody-secreting B cells, innate immunity effectors, and memory cells. Moreover, especially in patients with large tumor burdens and metastatic disease, combining vaccines with other strategies, such as systemic BC therapies, passive immunotherapy, or immunomodulatory agents, could increase the effectiveness of each approach. Here, we review recent advances in BC vaccines, focusing on suitable targets and innovative strategies. We report results of most recent trials investigating active immunotherapy in BC and provide possible future perspectives in this field of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer: Targets and Therapy
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 2014

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer immunology
  • Cancer vaccines
  • HER2
  • hTERT
  • MUC-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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