Immunotherapy in breast cancer: an overview of current strategies and perspectives
Recent progress in immunobiology has led the way to successful host immunity enhancement against breast cancer. In triple-negative breast cancer, the combination of cancer immunotherapy based on PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors with chemotherapy was effective both in advanced and early setting phase 3 clinical trials. These encouraging results lead to the first approvals of immune checkpoint inhibitors in triple-negative breast cancer and thus offer new therapeutic possibilities in aggressive tumors and hard-to-treat populations. Furthermore, several ongoing trials are investigating combining immunotherapies involving immune checkpoint inhibitors with conventional therapies and as well as with other immunotherapeutic strategies such as cancer vaccines, CAR-T cells, bispecific antibodies, and oncolytic viruses in all breast cancer subtypes. This review provides an overview of immunotherapies currently under clinical development and updated key results from clinical trials. Finally, we discuss the challenges to the successful implementation of immune treatment in managing breast cancer and their implications for the design of future clinical trials.