Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women. With improvements in early-stage diagnosis and targeted therapies, there has been an improvement in the overall survival rate in breast cancer over the past decade. Despite the development of targeted therapies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, as well as monoclonal antibodies and their toxin conjugates, all metastatic tumors develop resistance, and nearly one-third of HER2+ breast cancer patients develop resistance to all these therapies. Although antibody therapy has shown promising results in breast cancer patients, passive immunotherapy approaches have limitations and need continuous administration over a long period. Vaccine therapy introduces antigens that act on cancer cells causing prolonged activation of the immune system. In particular, cancer relapse could be avoided due to the presence of a longer period of immunological memory with an effective vaccine that can protect against various tumor antigens. Cancer vaccines are broadly classified as preventive and therapeutic. Preventive vaccines are used to ward off any future infections and therapeutic vaccines are used to treat a person with active disease. In this article, we provided details about the tumor environment, different types of vaccines, their advantages and disadvantages, and the current status of various vaccine candidates with a focus on vaccines for breast cancer. Current data indicate that therapeutic vaccines themselves have limitations in terms of efficacy and are used in combination with other chemotherapeutic or targeting agents. The majority of breast cancer vaccines are undergoing clinical trials and the next decade will see the fruitfulness of breast cancer vaccine therapy.
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