Background: The phenomenon of chemotherapy-resistant cancers has necessitated the development of new therapeutics as well as the identification of specific prognostic markers to predict the response to novel drugs. Primary cancer cells provide a model to study the multiplicity of tumourigenic transformation, to investigate alterations of the cellular response to various molecular stimuli, and to test therapeutics for cancer treatment. Methods: Here, we developed primary cultures of human breast tissue - normal cells (BN1), cancer cells (BC5), and cells from a chemotherapy-treated tumour (BrCCh1) to compare their response to conventional chemotherapeutics and to innate immunity stimulators with that of the immortalized breast cells MCF7, MDA-MB-231, and MCF10A. Expression of the progesterone receptor (PGR), oestrogen receptor (ER) α and β, human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2 and 3 and aromatase CYP19, as well as expression of interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 3 (IFIT3) mRNA in human breast cells were characterized. Results: We revealed that BC5 carcinoma cells were PGRlow/ERbhigh/ERa-/Cyp19+, the BrCCh1 cells that originated from the recurrent tumour were PGR-/ERb+/ERa-/Cyp19+, and normal BN cells were PGR-/ERb+/ERa-/Cyp19high. The treatment of primary culture cells with antitumour therapeutics revealed that BrCCh1 cells were doxorubicine-resistant and sensitive to cisplatin. BC5 cells exhibited low sensitivity to tamoxifen and cisplatin. The innate immunity activators interferon-α and an artificial small nucleolar RNA analogue increased expression of IFIT3 at different levels in primary cells and in the immortalized breast cells MCF7, MDA-MB-231, and MCF10A. The relative level of activation of IFIT3 expression was inversely correlated with the baseline level of IFIT3 mRNA expression in breast cell lines. Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that primary cancer cells are a useful model for the development of novel cancer treatments. Our findings suggest that expression of IFIT3 mRNA can be used as a prognostic marker of breast cancer cell sensitivity to immunostimulating therapeutics.