Is the Outlook For Patients With Aggressive Breast Cancer Changing due to Immunotherapy?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer for which new immune-based cancer treatments are still under development. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide and the most leading cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast cancer, in the metastasis stage, is an incurable disease with a survival rate of approximately 5 to 10 percent within five years. Immunotherapy has improved the survival of metastatic breast cancer patients with HER 2 receptor.

Here are facts about triple negative breast cancer:

  • Triple negative is the most aggressive form of breast cancer that is likely to spread beyond the breast and is more likely to recur.
  • Triple negative means that the cancer is negative for estrogen, progesterone and HER 2.
  • The triple negative cancer tends to be of higher grade than other breast cancer types. When the grade is higher, the cancer cells reduce their resemblance to healthy breast cells both in appearance and patterns of growth. It is usually a cell type known as “basal-like” which is linked to family history or not but is more aggressive.

Researchers work tirelessly with patients on clinical trials to find a cure or therapy to conquer cancer. In their quest, they offer patients immunotherapy drugs that help the body’s immune system to target, fight, and eliminate cancer, especially for patients who have limited treatment options. Although immunotherapy works, sometimes it may create other problems in the body like inflammation in the colon, liver, lungs and the skin when administered. It is because immunotherapy tries to harness the body’s immune system.

Aside from inflammation, there are no adverse side effects for the patients. Infusion of the immunotherapy drugs can take up to two years or more while under the doctors’ monitoring. All lymph nodes swollen with cancer eventually shrink and disappear.

 

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