Advances in gene transfer technology have greatly expanded the opportunities for developing immunotherapy strategies for breast carcinoma. Genetic immunotherapy approaches include the transfer of genes encoding cytokines and costimulatory molecules to modulate immune function, as well as genetic immunization strategies which rely on the delivery of cloned tumor antigens. Improved gene transfer vectors, coupled with a better understanding of the processes that are necessary to elicit an immune response and an expanding number of target breast tumor antigens, have led to renewed enthusiasm that effective immunotherapy may be achieved. It is likely that immunotherapeutic interventions will find their greatest clinical application as adjuvants to traditional first-line therapies, targeting micrometastatic disease and thereby reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.
Keywords: cytokine, gene transfer, tumor antigen, vaccine