Immunology of Breast Cancer


Wei, W.-Z.,
Lopez, D.M.


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In this publication, exciting new directions are outlined by fourteen groups of investigators working on critical areas in “Breast Cancer Immunology”. In the clinic, patients are responding to Her-2 peptides or GM-CSF transfected tumor cell vaccines. Futhermore, tumors under vaccine induced immune attack can prime the host to additional antigens. Selected chemotherapeutic agents are used to further vaccine efficacy. These promising results highlight the value of breast cancer immunotherapy. Although the clinical progress is exciting, significant challenges remain. Many tumor-associated antigens are self-antigens and vigorous measures will be required to induce consistent and sustained anti-tumor immunity. There is a pressing need for new immunotherapy targets. In this book, the better-characterized glycoprotein antigens and novel molecules in angiogenesis are examined as new targets of breast cancer vaccines or immunotherapy. Continued effort in new antigen identification will be critical to cancer control. Finally, a reality check is warranted. Most breast cancer cells are still elusive to immune intervention. The mechanisms of such evasion are under intense investigation and much progress has been made. Alteration in antigen processing machinery is a major route of tumor evasion.