Skip to main content

Drugging cancer vulnerabilities toward innovative clinical trials

Drugging image largeGuest Editors: Anna Spreafico1, Lorenza Landi2, Sabrina Strano3
1 - Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
2 - IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy
3 - IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy

Submission deadline: 30th June 2022. Submit your research here.

The study of cancer vulnerabilities remains a colossal challenge in oncology. Substantial advances have been made to identify the genetic makeup of tumor cells and related targets, using large-scale multi-omics approaches and innovative machine learning-based methods.

While non-clinical research is one of the drug discovery’s pillars, several “in vitro” screening methods and “in vivo” models are only suitable for “artificial” conditions, lack reproducibility and cannot be easily applicable in the clinical setting. The identification of cancer-specific dependencies and their translation into clinical utility is essential to implement precision medicine in daily practice.

Clinical trials represent essential resources for drug discovery and drive the “go versus no-go” decision in the development of novel anticancer treatments, laying the foundation for new ways to conquer cancer. Throughout the decades, the concept, design and execution of clinical trials have evolved. From conventional, histology pre-defined, and empirically based investigations, trials have shifted towards selective molecular and blood and/or tumor-based biomarker-driven approaches, that integrate circular pathways (bench-to-bedside-to-bench), cutting-edge technologies, and “smart” real-time reassessment study designs.

Keywords: Treatment, Clinical Trial, Microbiome, Radiomics, Artificial Intelligence, Metabolomics, Epigenomics, Proteomics, DNA/RNA Sequencing, Single Cell Sequencing

This special issue of the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, aims to recognize the pivotal role of experimental therapeutics and translational research, identify existing gaps through real-world, retrospective and prospective data, set priorities for the next generation of scientists, enhance global learning, and delineate a future framework to increase the efficiency of targeting and drugging cancer vulnerabilities in our lifetime.

  1. We recently conducted Cetuximab-AVElumab-Lung (CAVE-Lung), a proof-of-concept, translational and clinical trial, to evaluate the combination of two IgG1 monoclonal antibodies (mAb): avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 dru...

    Authors: Carminia Maria Della Corte, Morena Fasano, Vincenza Ciaramella, Flora Cimmino, Robert Cardnell, Carl M. Gay, Kavya Ramkumar, Lixia Diao, Raimondo Di Liello, Giuseppe Viscardi, Vincenzo Famiglietti, Davide Ciardiello, Giulia Martini, Stefania Napolitano, Concetta Tuccillo, Teresa Troiani…
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:109
  2. Trametinib is an oral MEK 1/2 inhibitor, with a single agent recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of 2 mg daily (QD). This study was designed to evaluate RP2D, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and pharmacokinetic (PK)...

    Authors: Pei Jye Voon, Eric X. Chen, Helen X. Chen, Albert C. Lockhart, Solmaz Sahebjam, Karen Kelly, Ulka N. Vaishampayan, Vivek Subbiah, Albiruni R. Razak, Daniel J. Renouf, Sebastien J. Hotte, Arti Singh, Philippe L. Bedard, Aaron R. Hansen, S. Percy Ivy, Lisa Wang…
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:51
  3. High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) has poor survival rates due to a combination of diagnosis at advanced stage and disease recurrence as a result of chemotherapy resistance. In BRCA1 (Breast Cancer gene ...

    Authors: Marianna Buttarelli, Alessandra Ciucci, Fernando Palluzzi, Giuseppina Raspaglio, Claudia Marchetti, Emanuele Perrone, Angelo Minucci, Luciano Giacò, Anna Fagotti, Giovanni Scambia and Daniela Gallo
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:50
  4. The RAS oncogene is both the most frequently mutated oncogene in human cancer and the first confirmed human oncogene to be discovered in 1982. After decades of research, in 2013, the Shokat lab achieved a seminal...

    Authors: Albert K. Kwan, Gary A. Piazza, Adam B. Keeton and Caio A. Leite
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:27
  5. Emerging evidence from the numerous clinical trials involving cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cell therapy suggests that its optimization in combination with other contemporary cancer therapies in a complementar...

    Authors: Amit Sharma and Ingo G. H. Schmidt-Wolf
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:388
  6. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a highly conserved cellular surveillance mechanism, commonly studied for its role in mRNA quality control because of its capacity of degrading mutated mRNAs that would pro...

    Authors: Roberta Bongiorno, Mario Paolo Colombo and Daniele Lecis
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:376
  7. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumours worldwide. Sorafenib (SOR) is one of the most effective single-drug systemic therapy against advanced HCC, but the identifi...

    Authors: Ilaria Romito, Manuela Porru, Maria Rita Braghini, Luca Pompili, Nadia Panera, Annalisa Crudele, Daniela Gnani, Cristiano De Stefanis, Marco Scarsella, Silvia Pomella, Stefano Levi Mortera, Emmanuel de Billy, Adrian Libenzio Conti, Valeria Marzano, Lorenza Putignani, Manlio Vinciguerra…
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:364

    The Correction to this article has been published in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:40

  8. The hopeful outcomes from 30 years of research in BH3-mimetics have indeed served a number of solid paradigms for targeting intermediates from the apoptosis pathway in a variety of diseased states. Not only ha...

    Authors: Paul A. Townsend, Maria V. Kozhevnikova, Olivier N. F. Cexus, Andrey A. Zamyatnin Jr and Surinder M. Soond
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:355
  9. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common type of leukemia in adults. Its therapy has not significantly improved during the past four decades despite intense research efforts. New molecularly targeted t...

    Authors: Hao Zhou, Wei Liu, Yongming Zhou, Zhenya Hong, Jian Ni, Xiaoping Zhang, Ziping Li, Mengyuan Li, Wenjuan He, Donghua Zhang, Xuexing Chen and Jianhua Zhu
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:353
  10. Glioblastoma (GBM; grade IV glioma) is characterized by a very short overall survival time and extremely low 5-year survival rates. We intend to promote experimental and clinical research on rationale and scie...

    Authors: Silvia Matteoni, Paola Matarrese, Barbara Ascione, Lucia Ricci-Vitiani, Roberto Pallini, Veronica Villani, Andrea Pace, Marco G. Paggi and Claudia Abbruzzese
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:347
  11. Mounting evidence indicates that vitamin C has the potential to be a potent anti-cancer agent when administered intravenously and in high doses (high-dose IVC). Early phase clinical trials have confirmed safet...

    Authors: Franziska Böttger, Andrea Vallés-Martí, Loraine Cahn and Connie R. Jimenez
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:343
  12. Patients with ovarian cancer often present at advanced stage and, following initial treatment success, develop recurrent drug-resistant disease. PARP inhibitors (PARPi) are yielding unprecedented survival bene...

    Authors: Camilla Coulson-Gilmer, Robert D. Morgan, Louisa Nelson, Bethany M. Barnes, Anthony Tighe, René Wardenaar, Diana C. J. Spierings, Helene Schlecht, George J. Burghel, Floris Foijer, Sudha Desai, Joanne C. McGrail and Stephen S. Taylor
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:323
  13. Neuropathic pain is a clinically relevant adverse effect of several anticancer drugs that markedly impairs patients’ quality of life and frequently leads to dose reduction or therapy discontinuation. The poor ...

    Authors: Laura Micheli, Carmen Parisio, Elena Lucarini, Alessia Vona, Alessandra Toti, Alessandra Pacini, Tommaso Mello, Serena Boccella, Flavia Ricciardi, Sabatino Maione, Grazia Graziani, Pedro Miguel Lacal, Paola Failli, Carla Ghelardini and Lorenzo Di Cesare Mannelli
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:320
  14. The success of antibodies targeting Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and its ligand L1 (PD-L1) in cancer treatment and the need for improving response rates has led to an increased demand for the develop...

    Authors: Vincent Lemaire, Colby S. Shemesh and Anand Rotte
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:311
  15. The exploitation of novel nanomaterials combining diagnostic and therapeutic functionalities within one single nanoplatform is challenging for tumor theranostics.

    Authors: Lili Ye, Yaoming Chen, Jizong Mao, Xiaotian Lei, Qian Yang and Chunhui Cui
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:303
  16. 223Ra is currently used for treatment of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer patients (mCRPC) bone metastases with fixed standard activity. Individualized treatments, based on adsorbed dose (AD) in ta...

    Authors: Rosa Sciuto, Sandra Rea, Sara Ungania, Antonella Testa, Valentina Dini, Maria Antonella Tabocchini, Clarice Patrono, Antonella Soriani, Valentina Palma, Raffaella Marconi and Lidia Strigari
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:281
  17. As competitive HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR) inhibitors, statins not only reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular risk, but also exhibit pleiotropic effects that are independent of their lipid-lowering effec...

    Authors: Wen Jiang, Jin-Wei Hu, Xu-Ran He, Wei-Lin Jin and Xin-Yang He
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:241
  18. Management of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is still challenging because of its aggressive clinical behavior and limited targeted treatment options. Cisplatin represents a promising chemotherapeutic com...

    Authors: Lisa Agnello, Silvia Tortorella, Annachiara d’Argenio, Clarissa Carbone, Simona Camorani, Erica Locatelli, Luigi Auletta, Domenico Sorrentino, Monica Fedele, Antonella Zannetti, Mauro Comes Franchini and Laura Cerchia
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:239
  19. Although new developments of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy treatments for cancer have improved patient survival, the emergence of chemoresistance in cancer has significant impacts on t...

    Authors: Guo-Hua Li, Qiang Qu, Ting-Ting Qi, Xin-Qi Teng, Hai-Hong Zhu, Jiao-Jiao Wang, Qiong Lu and Jian Qu
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:174
  20. Although hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest health burdens worldwide, few drugs are available for its clinical treatment. However, in recent years, major breakthroughs have been made in the...

    Authors: Xiang-Yuan Luo, Kong-Ming Wu and Xing-Xing He
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2021 40:172