An effective immune response has the potential for breast cancer sterilization with marked reduction in the potential for disease relapse. Adaptive type I immune cells uniquely have the capability of (i) cytotoxic T-cell activation and proliferation until all antigen expressing cells are eradicated, (ii) traversing endothelial barriers to penetrate tumor deposits wherever they occur, and (iii) immunologic memory, which allows the persistence of destructive immunity over the years it may take for breast cancer micrometastases to become clinically evident. Numerous recent investigations suggest that some breast cancers stimulate the type of immunity that results in a decreased risk of relapse. Moreover, the endogenous type I tumor microenvironment or type I immunity induced by drugs or biologic agents may improve response to standard therapies, further lowering the probability of disease recurrence.
Can immunity to breast cancer eliminate residual micrometastases?
Clinical Cancer Research
Description / Abstract: