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Tumor microenvironment and immunotherapy

This Experimental Hematology & Oncology series focuses on basic, translational, and clinical research related to the field of tumor microenvironment and immunotherapy. 

Articles published in the collection have already gone through the systematic peer review process of the journal.

Guest Editors

Bo Zhu, Ph.D., M.D. Professor & Director at the Institute of Cancer, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, P. R. China.
Research Focus: Dr. Zhu leads a translational group investigating the tumor microenvironment (TME) with the goal of identifying biomarkers and developing new strategies for cancer immunotherapy. His lab has demonstrated spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the TME-including different population, different organ metastasis and sites in the same tumor; and TME reshaping after target therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This includes the first findings of immunosuppressive extramedullary erythroid progenitor cells (EPCs) induced by tumor which lead to systemic immunosuppression in cancer patients. Further, these EPCs could trans-differentiate into myeloid-like cells and infiltrate into TME, then restrain CD8+T-cell mediated immune response and curtail anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatment efficacy. These findings explain why cancer patients with anemia have limited benefit from PD-1/PD-L1 treatment.

Qian Chu, Ph.D., M.D. Professor & Director at the Department of Thoracic Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P. R. China.
Research Focus: Dr. Chu focus on translational research and clinical research in lung cancer, and the tumor microenvironment (TME) is the most important research area. Her group found that the levels of CCL7 were significantly higher in patients who exhibited PR or SD to anti-PD-1 therapies than those who exhibited PD. Their laboratory has demonstrated CCL7 recruits conventional DC1 into the TME to promote T cell expansion. Her group also finds the normalized TME and reinvigorated antitumor immunity contributed to the superior antitumor effect of the combination of Mn2+ and anti-TGF-β/PD-L1. These findings suggest some potential biomarkers and new combination strategy.

Shengxiang Ren, Ph.D., M.D.
Professor, Vice Director at the Department of Medical Oncology in Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, P. R. China.
Research Focus: Dr. Ren’s career in lung cancer research includes immunotherapy, targeted therapies and translational research of lung cancer. Recently, Dr. Ren and his team emphasizes on the characteristics of tumor microenvironment and the mechanism by which tumor cells, immune cell and stomal cells change their cell state and how the changes contribute to the development of tumor niche and metastasis. They attempt to identify the key tumor-derived factors for immunotherapy resistance of lung cancer and investigate potential combination strategy. His research has translated into several clinical trials in lung cancer.

Collection articles

  1. Fibronectin, an extracellular matrix protein, has been reported to be associated with heterogeneous cancer stemness, angiogenesis and progression in multiple cancer types. However, the roles and the underlying...

    Authors: Fei Zhou, Jianguo Sun, Lingyun Ye, Tao Jiang, Wei Li, Chunxia Su, Shengxiang Ren, Fengying Wu, Caicun Zhou and Guanghui Gao
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2023 12:61
  2. Without the clear immunophenotyping of brain metastases (BrMs), the optimal treatment strategy based on PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and BrMs remains unknown.

    Authors: Haowei Wang, Fangfang Liu, Xiaoxia Chen, Chao Zhao, Xuefei Li, Caicun Zhou, Jie Hu, Qian Chu and Tao Jiang
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2023 12:56
  3. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is highly aggressive with a significant tropism of lymph nodes, which restricts treatment options and negatively impacts patient outcomes. Although progress has be...

    Authors: Min Wang, Min Pan, Yanshi Li, Tao Lu, Zhihai Wang, Chuan Liu and Guohua Hu
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2023 12:43
  4. Circulating monocytic myeloid-derived suppressive cells (M-MDSCs) are implicated as a poor prognostic factor and cause CAR T-cell failure in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Triggering receptors expresse...

    Authors: Hao-Yuan Wang, Fu-Chen Yang, Ching-Fen Yang, Yao-Chung Liu, Po-Shen Ko, Chien-Jung Li, Chun-Kuang Tsai, Yi-Lin Chung and Nien-Jung Chen
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2023 12:35
  5. Primary mediastinal (thymic) large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is a rare, aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and has a complex inflammatory microenvironment. Although most patients can be cured with standa...

    Authors: Raphael E. Steiner, Edwin R. Parra, Francisco Vega, Lei Feng, Jason R. Westin, Sattva S. Neelapu, Paolo Strati, Michael R. Green, Christopher R. Flowers, Luisa M. Solis, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Sairah Ahmed, Ranjit Nair, Fredrick B. Hagemeister, Mansoor Noorani and Mario L. Marques-Piubelli
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2023 12:32
  6. The bone marrow microenvironment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) consists of various cell types and signaling factors, which serve as a niche supporting leukemia cells in their invasion of the human body. Howe...

    Authors: Binyan Xu, Ziying Zhou, Yueting Wen, Zhongwei Li, Zhongxi Huang and Yuhua Li
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2022 11:81
  7. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a complex, heterogeneous malignant hematologic disease. Although multiple prognostic-related genes gave been explored in previous studies, there are still many genes whose progn...

    Authors: Xueqian Li, Jiaqian Qi, Xiaofei Song, Xiaoyan Xu, Tingting Pan, Hong Wang, Jingyi Yang and Yue Han
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2022 11:74
  8. Long-term outcome is unfavourable for relapsed/refractory (r/r) lymphoma patients who are resistant to salvage chemotherapy, even after subsequent autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). Although anti-CD3...

    Authors: Peiling Zhang, Xiuxiu Yang, Yang Cao, Jue Wang, Mi Zhou, Liting Chen, Jia Wei, Zekai Mao, Di Wang, Yi Xiao, Haichuan Zhu, Shangkun Zhang, Tongcun Zhang, Yicheng Zhang, Jianfeng Zhou and Liang Huang
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2022 11:72
  9. The protein kinase A (PKA)/cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) has been suggested to be related to the inhibition of the proliferation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. This study aimed to ...

    Authors: Jae Heun Chung, Ho Jung Choi, Yong Jung Kang, Yun Seong Kim, Sang-Yull Lee, Ryuk Jun Kwon, Han-Sol Jeong, Su-Jung Park, Yeongmu Jeong, Dongwan Kang, Jeongin Ko, SangGyun Noh, Hae Young Chung, Hyung Ryong Moon and Seong Hoon Yoon
    Citation: Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2022 11:68