A ray of hope for advanced breast cancer

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Science  22 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6395, pp. 1311-1312
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6395.1311-d

Immunotherapies are revolutionizing cancer treatment. Yet certain common cancer types, such as breast cancer, are often missing from the immunotherapy conversation. One reason is that breast cancers express relatively few neoantigens, or mutant tumor-associated proteins that are targeted by the immune system. A case study now shows that in the setting of adoptive T cell therapy, this problem can be circumvented, resulting in a dramatic clinical response. Zacharakis et al. report that a patient with metastatic breast cancer showed complete durable remission of her disease after being treated with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes that had been enriched ex vivo for reactivity to just four neoantigens. This study lays the groundwork for studies of other cancers assumed to be refractory to immunotherapy.

Nat. Med. 10.1038/s41591-018-0040-8 (2018).

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