Li, X., Zheng, J., Chen, S. et al. Cell Death Dis 12, 314 (2021).
Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor occurring in women. Unfortunately, the incidence and mortality rate of breast cancer has been increasing annually. Treatment outcome is still far from satisfactory, especially for ‘triple-negative’ breast cancers that lack effective treatment targets. Oleandrin is one of only a few agents that can trigger tumor cell death via enhanced immune destruction that increases tumor immunogenicity. That is, beyond oleandrin’s direct antitumor effects it also has the ability to enhance the body’s immune system to destroy breast cancer tumor cells. While significant in its own right, this finding opens the door to combining oleandrin together with new ‘checkpoint’ inhibitors that amplify the ability of the body’s immune system to selectively attack tumor cell proliferation.