New City Osaki Clinic homepage > Treatment outcomes and case reports > Breast cancer, case of breast cancer 1
This patient in her 50s underwent surgery for a breast cancer tumor of 2 cm in diameter (infiltrating duct carcinoma, stage IIa) and then hormone therapy with Arimidex (oral agent). Two year later, because tumor markers were elevated, detailed examination was performed and a hepatic metastasis of 2.5 cm in diameter was detected. It was treated with the administration of Taxotere at three-week intervals and disappeared nine months later. The treatment with Taxotere was further continued for about half a year and was switched to hormone therapy. Seven months after switching, tumor markers were elevated again and a hepatic metastasis of about 2 cm in diameter was detected in CT scan (see the photo on the left).
CEF therapy using anticancer agents was started and cancer immune cell therapy of the New City Osaki Clinic was also started almost at the same time. With the combination of this highly active NK (natural killer) cell therapy and anticancer agents, the metastatic focus disappeared five months later (see the photo on the right). The administration of anticancer agents was further continued for six months. Because metastasis occurred again during the hormone therapy after the disappearance of the first metastasis, hormone therapy was speculated to be ineffective. Therefore, highly active NK cell therapy has been continued once every two months along with the administration of the oral anticancer agent, TS-1. Regular tests of tumor markers have been showing normal levels and neither recurrence nor metastasis has been detected in CT scan (Figure).
It has been more than six years since the first hepatic metastasis and four and a half years since the onset of the second hepatic metastasis. No recurrence has been noted for four years since the disappearance of the second metastasis. Although the treatment for the second metastasis with anticancer agents is usually more difficult than that for the first metastasis, the second metastasis in this patient disappeared slightly earlier than the first one. We think that the concomitant use of highly active NK cell therapy made the treatment more effective. Enhancement of efficacy by the combined use of anticancer agents and cancer immunotherapy depends on whether or not the immunotherapy can strengthen the patient’s own immunity. In this patient, blood tests before and after the treatment showed an excellent increase in all the variables that indicate immunological capacity, with the proportion of NK cells being increased from 18% to 35% and NK activity from 23% to 61%. Among T cells, the proportion of NKT cells (CD3 + CD56 + lymphocyte)—which are similar to NK cells— increased to 15% and the proportion of NKG2D-positive T cells ranged from 60% to 70%, showing that these cells were greatly activated and the activated level has been maintained. We speculate that highly active NK cell therapy resulted in such a high level of immunity and is preventing the recurrence or new metastasis. Combined use of anticancer agents and cancer immunotherapy is gradually spreading. Not only for the treatment of cancer, but also for the prevention of metastasis or recurrence, we hope that such combined use will be widely recognized in the near future and the administration method that maximize the effect of both therapies will be developed.