About this Research Topic
The relationship between inflammation and tumor progression is nowadays broadly known. The purpose of the inflammatory response is to repair and regenerate tissues exposed to injury and, when the damage is repaired, proliferation is blocked and inflammation goes out. A description of the key regulatory molecules involved in the conversion from chronic inflammation to cancer is useful for understanding some mechanisms. Key endogenous (intrinsic) factors can be defined, such as transcription factors (e. g. NF-kB, STAT3) and cytokines and chemokines (e. g. IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23 and TNF-α), as well as key target proteins and enzymes (such as cyclooxygenases, prostaglandin synthases, lipoxygenases). The identification of new drugs, able to target the above reported factors, could be then synergic in the context of anti-inflammatory/anticancer pharmacological strategies (targeted therapies), aiding in developing safer alternative solutions especially for long-term therapies. In addition to the above reported aspects, recent studies highlighted the key role of tumor-associated inflammation in the suppression of antitumor immunity. Since the key immunosuppressive mechanisms elicited by tumor-associated inflammation have not been clearly elucidated, new investigations are required in this field to facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies, with a particular focus on the crosstalk between innate and adaptive immunity to enhance the antitumor immunity by interfering with immunosuppressive chronic inflammation.
On the other hand, the resistance mechanisms to drug treatment related to chronic inflammation or tumor pathologies (e.g. chemo-resistance) represent nowadays a fundamental clinical issue, and further investigations are required to optimize these therapies for clinical use. Recent advances in elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind inflammation and cancer support the development of alternative efficient strategies, and various clinical trials have shown the combination of targeted therapies with conventional chemotherapy as a key option for increasing patient survival with less toxicity. Adjuvant therapy, based on additional cancer treatments after the primary treatment in order to lower the risk that the cancer will come back, is one of the most studied topic in this field. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy. Decisions regarding the utility of adjuvant therapy weigh the likelihood of recurrence with the life expectancy of patients as well as susceptibility to short- and long-term toxicities.
In this Research Topic, we invite researchers to show and discuss recent advances in the field of discovery of novel anti-inflammatory/anticancer small molecules with a particular attention to the application of medicinal chemistry protocols. Also, contributions regarding the identification of agents able to neutralize antibodies inhibiting the induction, accumulation, and function of immunosuppressive cell types in response to cancer-associated inflammation will be evaluated. Both Original Research articles - mainly focused on computational studies, chemical synthesis, and biological evaluation of the activities by in vitro and in vivo studies - and Reviews covering the above reported aspects (e.g. adjuvant therapy and drug resistance) will be evaluated. The identification of new bioactive compounds able to interact to specific molecular targets with a good degree of selectivity and showing safe pharmacological profile are particularly encouraged.
Keywords: Inflammation, cancer, medicinal chemistry, drug discovery, biochemistry
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