Ever since the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology was awarded to two pioneers of the emerging science of immunotherapy, the scientific literature has been buzzing with new advancements in this field. So what is cancer immunotherapy, and what is its relevance to breast cancer?

New treatments are seeking to combat the ability of some tumours to switch off the immune response at so-called checkpoints, thereby restoring the patient’s own immune response so it can attack a tumour.