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The innate and adaptive infiltrating immune systems as targets for breast cancer immunotherapy


A cancer cell-centric view has long dominated the field of cancer biology. Research efforts have focussed on aberrant cancer cell signalling pathways and on changes to cancer cell DNA. Mounting evidence demonstrates that many cancer-associated cell types within the tumour stroma co-evolve and support tumour growth and development, greatly modifying cancer cell behaviour, facilitating invasion and metastasis and controlling dormancy and sensitivity to drug therapy. Thus, these stromal cells represent potential targets for cancer therapy. Among these cell types, immune cells have emerged as a promising target for therapy. The adaptive and the innate immune system play an important role in normal mammary development and breast cancer. The number of infiltrating adaptive immune system cells with tumour-rejecting capacity, primarily, T lymphocytes, is lower in breast cancer compared with other cancer types, but infiltration occurs in a large proportion of cases. There is strong evidence demonstrating the importance of the immunosuppressive role of the innate immune system during breast cancer progression. A consideration of components of both the innate and the adaptive immune system is essential for the design and development of immunotherapies in breast cancer. In this review, we focus on the importance of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) as potential targets for breast cancer therapy.

Type Journal
ISBN 1479-6821 (Electronic) 1351-0088 (Linking)
Authors Law, A. M.; Lim, E.; Ormandy, C. J.; Gallego-Ortega, D.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr David Gallego-Ortega
Published Date 2017-04-30
Published Volume 24
Published Issue 4
Published Pages R123-R144
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1530/ERC-16-0404
URL link to publisher's version