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27.05.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2019

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 1/2019

Prognostic role of immune infiltrates in breast ductal carcinoma in situ

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment > Ausgabe 1/2019
Xiao-Yang Chen, Joe Yeong, Aye Aye Thike, Boon Huat Bay, Puay Hoon Tan
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Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast is often regarded as a non-obligate precursor to invasive breast carcinoma but current diagnostic tools are unable to accurately predict the invasive potential of DCIS. Infiltration of immune cells into the tumour and its microenvironment is often an early event at the site of tumourigenesis. These immune infiltrates may be potential predictive and/or prognostic biomarkers for DCIS. This review aims to discuss recent findings pertaining to the potential prognostic significance of immune infiltrates as well as their evaluation in DCIS.


A literature search on PubMed was conducted up to 28th January 2019. Search terms used were “DCIS”, “ductal carcinoma in situ”, “immune”, “immunology”, “TIL”, “TIL assessment”, and “tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte”. Search filters for “Most Recent” and “English” were applied. Information from published papers related to the research topic were synthesised and summarised for this review.


Studies have revealed that immune infiltrates play a role in the biology and microenvironment of DCIS, as well as treatment response. There is currently no consensus on the evaluation of TILs in DCIS for clinical application.


This review highlights the recent findings on the potential influence and prognostic value of immunological processes on DCIS progression, as well as the evaluation of TILs in DCIS. Further characterisation of the immune milieu of DCIS is recommended to better understand the immune response in DCIS progression and recurrence.

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