What You Need to Know About Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer in Mexico
Immunotherapy is a revolutionary treatment option for cancer. It is effective for many forms of cancer, including lung cancer.
But what about breast cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide?
Immunotherapy for breast cancer in Mexico is showing promise. There are specific challenges in understanding why immunotherapy for breast cancer is more difficult to treat than other forms of cancer.
What is Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer?
Immunotherapy is the use of medicine to stimulate your body’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy agents can shrink tumors or slow their growth.
To understand how these agents work, one must understand how the immune system knows not to attack “normal cells.” The immune system essentially will use a “checkpoint,” which are proteins on immune cells that turn on or off based on if there needs to be an immune response.
What are the Challenges with Breast Cancer and Immunotherapy?
Breast cancer cells will “use” the checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. Some breast cancer cells are also “immunology cold”, meaning there are no immune cells inside to stimulate.
Sometimes the T-Cells can access the tumor but are attacked by “bad” immune cells, so the immunotherapy is not effective. Combining these challenges has made breast cancer less responsive to immunotherapy than other types of cancer. But there have been recent advancements.
Is There Success in Treating Breast Cancer with Immunotherapy?
We have found there are immune cells in breast cancer tumors at the early stage. Immunotherapy for breast cancer in Mexico shows promise when used as a first-line treatment option in combination with chemotherapy.
The two immunotherapy agents that have shown promise are pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq). Both agents use immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat breast cancer by binding of PD-1 and PD-L1 proteins.
To know if the drugs are an option for a patient, a biopsy must be done, showing the patient has high levels of PD-L1 Proteins. More agents are continuing to be tested through clinical trials.