Breast cancer immunotherapy: importance, prospects, problems

Sivak L.A., Verovkina N.

Summary. The idea that the immune system can control cancer began to form simultaneously with the birth of the immunology. The subsequent development of immunology provided the foundation upon which F. Burnet and L. Thomas built their cancer immunosurveillance hypothesis, a concept that formally envisaged that adaptive immunity was responsible for preventing cancer development in immunocompetent hosts. But, for decades, cancer has been seen as a purely cell-autonomous process. According to this model, epigenetic and genetic defects accumulate in one or more stem cells, gradually giving them the ability to continuously replicate and, despite the presence of inhibitory signals of the microenvironment — to invade extensively in the surrounding tissue, colonize distant sites with the formation of metastases. Therefore, the development of antitumour agents was aimed at the specific changes in malignant cells. It is now quite obvious that tumor cells do not act alone, but only in close interaction with the tumor microenvironment. Recently, it has been gradually recognized that the tumor microenvironment is one of the key factors for both tumor progression and drug resistance. In this decade, immunotherapy has become the most promising direction in the search for new ways in the treatment of malignant tumors. The main goal of immunotherapy is the restoration of immune control over tumor cells.
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