Detailed Information on Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer

In recent years, the medical landscape has experienced remarkable advancements, particularly in the oncology field. One groundbreaking development that stands out is the advent of immunotherapy.

In this article, we delve into this revolutionary cancer treatment approach, focusing specifically on its application in breast cancer management.


Dr. Jay Anam

Breast Cancer Specialist in Mumbai

Understanding Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy, at its core, is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defences to fight cancer.

It works by strengthening the immune system, enabling it to detect, target, and eradicate cancer cells more effectively.

This approach offers a unique mechanism of action, as it leverages the body’s own biological systems in the battle against cancer.

However, with its cutting-edge nature and specialized treatment protocols, immunotherapy tends to be more expensive compared to traditional treatment methods.

This is primarily due to the high costs associated with its research, development, and production. Despite the cost, the potential benefits of this revolutionary treatment approach can be invaluable.

You may also want to know more about, Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

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Determining the Candidates for Immunotherapy

Given its distinct nature, immunotherapy isn’t suitable for every patient. Medical professionals carefully assess patients’ health status, the type and stage of cancer, and their overall treatment plan to determine if immunotherapy would be beneficial.

Specifically, in the context of breast cancer, immunotherapy is often recommended for a type of cancer called ‘triple-negative breast cancer’ (TNBC).

TNBC is a relatively aggressive form of breast cancer that doesn’t respond to hormonal therapy and certain targeted therapies due to lack of three specific receptors: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and excess HER2 protein.

Immunotherapy shows promise particularly when TNBC is at an advanced stage or has metastasized (spread) to other organs.

Its role here stems from the fact that TNBC has been found to be more immunogenic, meaning it’s more likely to be recognized and targeted by the immune system, making immunotherapy potentially more effective.

Also Read : Everything about Radiation therapy in Breast Cancer

Medications Used in Immunotherapy

So, what does the pharmacological landscape of immunotherapy look like? Let’s unpack two key players :

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) :

This is an immune checkpoint inhibitor, a type of drug that blocks proteins (like PD-1) that prevent the immune system from attacking cancer cells.

By blocking these proteins, pembrolizumab allows the immune system to more effectively recognize and destroy cancer cells.


  • Monoclonal Antibodies :

These are lab-made molecules designed to mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens, such as cancer cells.

They are engineered to attach to specific defects in cancer cells, making the cells more visible to the immune system.

Notable monoclonal antibodies used in breast cancer include Trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Pertuzumab (Perjeta) for HER2-positive breast cancer.

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While immunotherapy presents a beacon of hope in cancer management, it’s essential to remember that each patient’s journey is unique.

The most effective treatment approach often encompasses a multi-modal strategy tailored to individual needs. Therefore, it’s vital to engage in open and comprehensive discussions with healthcare professionals to chart the best path forward.

As we continue to explore this frontier of medicine, we hope to unlock further potential for treating various types of cancers, thereby improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

Our understanding of immunotherapy is continually evolving, bringing us one step closer to turning the tide in the battle against cancer. Would you like to know more about this advanced treatment modality?

If yes, then feel free to reach out. We will always be here to assist!

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    About Author
    Dr. Jay Rashmi Anam

    Surgical Oncologists


    Year Of Experience

    Dr. Jay Anam is one of the best surgical oncologists & breast cancer specialist in Mumbai.

    Dr. Jay Anam has Completed his M.Ch. Surgical Oncology training from Tata Memorial Centre. He did his Fellowship in Breast Oncology from Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille, France.

    As a breast cancer specialist, he believes in world-class cancer care for all patients.

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