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Immunology and immunotherapy in solid cancers

Guest Editors:
Zachary C. Hartman: Duke University, United States
Daniel Smrz: Charles University and Motol University Hospital, Czech Republic

BMC Cancer has published this Collection on the role of the immune tumor microenvironment and advances in immunotherapy approaches in solid tumors. This Collection highlights innovative new research on cancer vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibition, and solid tumor resistance, inflammation, and microenvironment immunosuppression, while also delving into alternative immune treatments, as well as combinatorial approaches with standard therapies and cellular therapies.

New Content ItemThis collection supports and amplifies research related to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing (SDG3).

Meet the Guest Editors

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Zachary C. Hartman: Duke University, United States

Dr Zachary C. Hartman is an Associate Professor at Duke University in the Departments of Surgery, Pathology, and Integrative Immunology and the Director of the Center for Applied Therapeutics. He received his PhD in Genetics and Genomics from Duke University and did post-doctoral fellowships at Duke and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2012, he returned to Duke and developed a laboratory focused on the study of immunity and inflammation in cancer, spanning the use of novel immunotherapeutic agents, investigation of tumor-targeting antibodies, and development of vaccines to specific oncogenic targets, which are currently in clinical trials at Duke. 

Daniel Smrz: Charles University and Motol University Hospital, Czech Republic

Daniel Smrz is a leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Group at the Department of Immunology at Charles University, Second Faculty of Medicine, and the Motol University Hospital in Prague. He is also a vice-director of the Laboratory of Immunotherapy at the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., in Prague. He has a chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and immunology background. His team dedicates to researching immune cells and their use for cancer immunotherapy. A long-term goal of his team is an in-depth understanding of the tumoral/paratumoral immune microenvironment and the introduction of new technologies for in vitro generation of immune cells for adoptive cell immunotherapy of cancer.

About the Collection

BMC Cancer has published this Collection on immunology and immunotherapy in solid cancers.

While surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy have been the standard of care for solid cancer treatment for decades, these methods have often proved unable to provide durable disease control. Thus, immunotherapy could be the next core pillar in solid tumor treatment. However, clinical success with immunotherapy for solid tumors has often been very difficult to achieve due to several barriers, including immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, inefficient trafficking, and heterogeneity of tumor antigens. A better understanding of the immune system and identifying new molecular targets would foster the development of novel, safe, and effective treatments for solid cancers. 

In recognition of this relevant field, BMC Cancer has published this Collection which encouraged submissions addressing topics including, but not limited to:
•    Cancer vaccines
•    Immune checkpoint inhibition
•    Investigations into mechanisms of immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment
•    Alternative immune mechanisms for treatment
•    Immune modulatory combinations with standard-of-care therapies
•    Cellular therapies and CAR T-Cells
•    Innate and adaptive immune responses in cancer
•    Impact of stromal population on cancer immunity and immunotherapy
•    Solid tumor resistance to cell-based therapies
•    Inflammation in the tumor and peritumoral microenvironment

Image credit: Juan Gärtner /

  1. Basement membrane (BM) is an important component of the extracellular matrix, which plays an important role in the growth and metastasis of tumor cells. However, few biomarkers based on BM have been developed ...

    Authors: Xuezhou Zhang, Baoan Hong, Hongwei Li, Jiahui Zhao, Mingchuan Li, Dechao Wei, Yongxing Wang and Ning Zhang
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:746
  2. Tumor immune infiltration leads to poor prognosis of gastric cancer patients and seriously affects the life quality of gastric cancer patients. This study was based on bioinformatics to screen prognostic bioma...

    Authors: MeiHong Yu, Jingxuan Peng, Yanxu Lu, Sha Li and Ke Ding
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:724
  3. Neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) combined with chemoradiotherapy offers high pathologic complete response (pCR) rate for patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC). B...

    Authors: Dan-Dan Zheng, Yu-Ying Li, Xiao-Yi Yuan, Jiang-Li Lu, Mei-Fang Zhang, Jia Fu and Chris Zhiyi Zhang
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:649
  4. Immunotherapy or apatinib alone has been used as third-line adjuvant therapy for advanced or metastatic gastric/gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) tumors, but the efficacy of combining them with each other for ...

    Authors: Jincheng Wang, Jie Lin, Ruimin Wang, Ti Tong and Yinghao Zhao
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:603
  5. For patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC), total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT), namely, intensifying preoperative treatment through the integration of radiotherapy and systemic chemotherapy before su...

    Authors: Tongzhen Xu, Lingling Feng, Wenjue Zhang, Haoyue Li, Huiying Ma, Muyasha Abulimiti, Yutong Tan, Feiyan Deng, Wenting Huang, Shuangmei Zou, Wenyan Kang, Liming Jiang, Ying Wang, Chen Hu, Yinggang Chen, Haitao Zhou…
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:501
  6. Accurate microsatellite instability (MSI) testing is essential for identifying gastric cancer (GC) patients eligible for immunotherapy. We aimed to develop and validate a CT-based radiomics signature to predic...

    Authors: Peng-chao Zhan, Shuo Yang, Xing Liu, Yu-yuan Zhang, Rui Wang, Jia-xing Wang, Qing-ya Qiu, Yu Gao, Dong-bo Lv, Li-ming Li, Cheng-long Luo, Zhi-wei Hu, Zhen Li, Pei-jie Lyu, Pan Liang and Jian-bo Gao
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:404
  7. The safety and efficacy of transarterial chemoembolization plus molecular targeted therapy (MTT) combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in primary liver cancer have been demonstrated. However, the e...

    Authors: Changlong Hou, Baizhu Xiong, Lei Zhou, Yipeng Fei, Changgao Shi, Xianhai Zhu, Tao Xie and Yulin Wu
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:387
  8. The prognostic significance of the CRAFITY score (CRP and AFP in ImmunoTherapY) has been demonstrated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients receiving immunotherapy. The purpose of this study was to investiga...

    Authors: Lijie Zhang, Tao Sun, Bo Sun, Kailu Zhang, Yuting Zheng, Na Li, Lei Chen, Chuansheng Zheng, Bin Liang and Heshui Shi
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:223
  9. Gastric cancer (GC) remains a predominant form of malignant tumor globally, necessitating innovative non-surgical therapeutic approaches. This investigation aimed to delineate the expression landscape of macro...

    Authors: Zhijun Hong, Peizhen Wen, Kang Wang, Xujin Wei, Wen Xie, Shihao Rao, Xin Chen, Jingjing Hou and Huiqin Zhuo
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2024 24:141
  10. Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with N1/N2 lymph node metastasis is challenging with poor survival. Neo-adjuvant chemo-immunotherapy has gained benefits in a proportion of these patients. H...

    Authors: Chengli Du, Yunhao Chen, Yuwei Zhou, Difang Zheng, Jiangang Zhao, Jie Tang, Yihe Wu and Zhengliang Tu
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1260
  11. Endoscopic surgery can be used as the main treatment for advanced recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (rNPC). However, there is a huge clinical controversy about the need for consolidated immunotherapy after su...

    Authors: Haoyuan Xu, Wanpeng Li, Huankang Zhang, Huan Wang, Li Hu, Yurong Gu and Dehui Wang
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1259
  12. To investigate the predictive value of baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) levels on the efficacy of chemotherapy plus immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in patients with advanced lung squamous cell carcinoma (L...

    Authors: Xinlong Zheng, Longfeng Zhang, Lin Wu, Jun Zhao, Jianguo Sun, Yong Fang, Jin Zhou, Qian Chu, Yihong Shen, Zhenzhou Yang, Lijin Chen, Meijuan Huang, Xiaoyan Lin, Zhenhua Liu, Peng Shen, Zhijie Wang…
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1244
  13. Novel ADC drugs provide a new therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.The present study aimed to analyze the clinical efficacy and drug toxicities of disitamab vedotin (RC48) plus immune checkpoint inhibitors(...

    Authors: Caiyun Nie, Weifeng Xu, Yanwei Guo, Xiaohui Gao, Huifang Lv, Beibei Chen, Jianzheng Wang, Yingjun Liu, Jing Zhao, Saiqi Wang, Yunduan He and Xiaobing Chen
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1239
  14. The promising therapeutic outcomes of neoadjuvant immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) have been confirmed by several phase II...

    Authors: Chengzhi Ding, Yijun Guo, Yaning zhou, Yi He, Chunji Chen, Ming Zhang and Xufeng Guo
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1237
  15. Recapitulating the tumor microenvironment (TME) in vitro remains a major hurdle in cancer research. In recent years, there have been significant strides in this area, particularly with the emergence of 3D sphe...

    Authors: Khushwant Singh and Pramod K. Gautam
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1201
  16. Paclitaxel and carboplatin is the standard chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. However, the benefit of adding programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (P...

    Authors: Francisco Cezar Aquino de Moraes, Eric Pasqualotto, Lucca Moreira Lopes, Maria Eduarda Cavalcanti Souza, Anna Luíza Soares de Oliveira Rodrigues, Artur Menegaz de Almeida, Carlos Stecca, Marianne Rodrigues Fernandes and Ney Pereira Carneiro dos Santos
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1166
  17. Resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) is a significant issue in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), as it is in the majority of cancer types. An important deficiency in immunooncology today is t...

    Authors: Volkan Aslan, Atiye Cenay Karabörk Kılıç, Ahmet Özet, Aytuğ Üner, Nazan Günel, Ozan Yazıcı, Gözde Savaş, Ahmet Bayrak, Emrah Eraslan, Berna Öksüzoğlu, Hüseyin Koray Kılıç and Nuriye Özdemir
    Citation: BMC Cancer 2023 23:1045

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Immunology and immunotherapy in solid cancers" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.