. 2022 Feb; 24(2):264-279.
doi: 10.1007/s11307-021-01688-9.

Application of Noninvasive Imaging to Combined Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Breast Cancer: Facts and Future

Zhongquan Cheng 1 Yang Du 2 Leyi Yu 1 Zhu Yuan 3 Jie Tian 4 
  • PMID: 35102468
  •     122 References
  •     1 citations


With the application of mono-immunotherapy in cancer, particularly immune checkpoint inhibitors, improved outcomes have been achieved. However, there are several limitations to immunotherapy, such as a poor response to the drugs, immune resistance, and immune-related adverse events. In recent years, studies of preclinical animal models and clinical trials have demonstrated that immune checkpoint inhibitors for breast cancer can significantly prolong the overall survival and quality of patients' lives. Meanwhile, combined immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment has attracted researchers' attention and showed great potential in the comprehensive treatment of breast cancer patients. Additionally, noninvasive imaging enables physicians to predict response to combined immunotherapeutic drugs, achieve treatment efficacy, and lead to better clinical management. Herein, we review the background of combined immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and summarize its targeted imaging as well as progress in noninvasive imaging aimed at evaluating therapeutic outcomes. Finally, we describe several factors that may influence the outcome of this combined immunotherapy, the future direction of medical imaging, and the potential application of artificial intelligence in breast cancer. With further development of noninvasive imaging for the guidance of combined immune checkpoint inhibitors, cures for this disease may be achieved.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Combined immunotherapy; Immune checkpoint inhibitor; Noninvasive imaging.

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