- The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious disease and foreign organisms; it ensures that people don’t die every time they catch something as simple as the common cold. The immune system is eminently advanced and can effectively fight off disease, yet cancer continues to plague the human race. By the year 2030, it is expected that the number of cancer cases will rise to 23.6 million (NCI, 2018). Regardless of treatment techniques, some cancers can’t be cured. Specifically, breast cancer is very prominent with an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are to be diagnosed in women in the year 2019 (“U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics”, 2019). The added factor of inheritable cancer-causing mutations, like Bracket 1 breast cancer (BRCA), makes it increasingly difficult to find a cure
- Cancer is exceedingly difficult to treat due to the way in which it affects the body. Cancer cells take advantage of preexisting features of the human body to advance their agenda. The immune system is tolerant of self-antigens, meaning that, the body's own cells, tissues, and organs shouldn’t be attacked by the immune system . However, as a result of genetic mutations, cancer cells multiply at an exponential rate to take over body parts and cause harm to the host even though the cells are originally apart of the person (“Immune Tolerance”, 2014).
- As time progresses the disease is better understood and many treatment options like immunotherapy begin to have a larger impact on the way the disease is approached. After countless attempts most cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and even surgery continue to be ineffective. Yet, the use of immunotherapy in many leukemias is becoming increasingly prevalent because of its incredible results. Immunotherapy utilizes the power of the body’s own immune system to control or even eliminate cancer cells. These treatments have been proven to extend the lives of patients. In many leukemia immunotherapies, immunomodulators are used to manipulate the immune system. Through the use of checkpoint inhibitors that target immune cells, existing immune responses can be enhanced. Cytokines regulate immune cell maturation, growth, and responsiveness. Adjuvants can stimulate pathways to provide longer protection or produce more antibodies. Even with the expansion of immunotherapies and it’s proven effectiveness on a variety of cancers, there are no new curative treatments for solid breast cancer.
- It is possible cancer cells are sending signals to MDSCs, making them suppress the immune system, thus protecting themselves and leaving patients defenseless.
But Why Breast Cancer?
Cancer occurs as a result of DNA mutations that grow uncontrolled and these mutations must normally occur in specific gene types to ensure the suppression of specific immune system characteristics. Every year 41,670 woman with breast cancer pass. Some breast cancers are especially hard to cure due to their structure, one of these types being the triple negative breast cancer cell.