Prognostic and predictive immune gene signatures in breast cancer

Davide Bedognetti, Wouter R. Hendrickx, Francesco M. Marincola, Lance D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: Here, we focus on molecular biomarkers derived from transcriptomic studies to summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms associated with differential prognosis and treatment outcome in breast cancer. Recent findings: Breast cancer is certainly immunogenic; yet it has been historically resistant to immunotherapy. In the past few years, refined immunotherapeutic manipulations have been shown to be effective in a significant proportion of cancer patients. For example, drugs targeting the PD-1 immune checkpoint have been proven to be an effective therapeutic approach in several solid tumors including melanoma and lung cancer. Very recently, the activity of such therapeutics has also been demonstrated in breast cancer patients. Pari passu with the development of novel immune modulators, the transcriptomic analysis of human tumors unveiled unexpected and paradoxical relationships between cancer cells and immune cells. Summary: This review examines our understanding of the molecular pathways associated with intratumoral immune response, which represents a critical step for the implementation of stratification strategies toward the development of personalized immunotherapy of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-444
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2015



  • Breast cancer
  • Immune gene signatures
  • Immune score
  • Immunotherapy
  • Transcriptomic studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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