Every year, breast cancer accounts for twelve percent of all cancers globally diagnosed. In the 1960’s the overall five year survival rate was sixty-three percent. The five-year survival rate today? An increase of twenty-seven percent bringing it up to ninety percent.
People in medical centers all over the world are working every day to find new treatments and gaining more information on breast cancer to one day find a cure to end breast cancer. They have not found one yet unfortunately, but they are discovering new and improved ways to treat it and to help relieve the pain and suffering that comes along with breast cancer.
Something that researchers are looking at now is immunotherapy. Historically, breast cancer has been determined to be considered “immunologically silent” but with the recent pre-clinical and clinical studies it has been found that immunotherapy could possibly improve the clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients.
There are multiple key advantages to immunotherapy, the first one is there are less side effects than there are founded in treatments like chemotherapy. With there being a decrease in the side effects it will allow for an increase in the administrating period. Breast cancer patients that go on the route of immunotherapy will not develop a resistance against the treatment because the immune system is able to target several cancer antigens simultaneously and adapt to the ever-changing cancer cells.
A few mmunotherapies have been clinically tested and show a lot of promise. One of the categories is therapeutic vaccines and they are designed to elicit an immune response against tumor-specific or tumor-associated antigens, allowing the immune system to attack the cells containing these specific antigens.
Another category is immune checkpoint inhibitors. These treatments work by targeting the molecules that serve as the checks and balances in the regulation of immune responses. It can work one of two ways, either by blocking the inhibitory molecules or activating stimulatory molecules, these treatments are designed to either unleash or enhance the pre-existing/anti-cancer immune responses.
One final one I want to mention is adoptive t-cell therapy. In this approach T-cells are removed from the patient and genetically modified/treated with chemicals to enhance their activity, and then they are re-introduced into the breast cancer patient with the goal of dramatically improving the immune system’s anti-cancer response.
Each of these categories I mentioned have several clinical trials going on and they are currently seeking breast cancer patients to take part in them. Today, there are many promising research projects happening to help improve the way breast cancer is treated and looked at. We have come so far in our research and every day we are one step closer to finding a cure.
To all those currently battling breast cancer, keep fighting! You are strong and an inspiration to all, do not give up. Read more here.