About this Research Topic
Over the last decade, the interactions between neoplastic lymphocytes and the tumor microenvironment, especially the immune system and stromal cells, have proven to be key in the pathogenesis of B-cell neoplasms, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and multiple myeloma. In these malignancies, tumor cells in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen or in peripheral blood are by nature surrounded by immune cells such as B and T lymphocytes, regulatory T cells, monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils, which were shown to harbor tumor-supportive and immunosuppressive features. Hence, understanding the complex crosstalk between malignant and non-malignant immune cells in lymphoid malignancies is crucial to design innovative therapeutic strategies, including immunotherapy.
In recent years, immunotherapies including monoclonal antibodies that trigger anti-tumor activity, or genetically engineered T cells have revolutionized the treatment of cancer patients. However, only a limited number of patients respond to immune-checkpoint blockade and mechanisms of primary or acquired resistance are not sufficiently understood. It is, therefore, necessary to further optimize the benefits of these therapies that aim at reactivating the immune system to fight against the tumor B-cells. To this end, an in-depth characterization of tumor-associated immune cells and other accessory cells and their complex interactions with malignant cells within the tumor microenvironment will be crucial to identify new therapeutic targets and to develop successful combination treatment strategies including immunomodulatory drugs.
In this Research Topic, we welcome Original Research articles, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Case Reports, Clinical Trials, Methods, and Perspectives that address the complexity of tumor immunology in lymphoid malignancies. The following topics are of particular interest:
- Studies that characterize cells (stromal and immune cells) and extracellular factors (cytokines, extracellular vesicles, metabolites) and their crosstalk within the microenvironment of B-cell malignancies
- Pre-clinical or clinical studies investigating immune escape mechanisms
- Pre-clinical or clinical studies investigating tumor-supportive cells and their mode-of-action in the microenvironment
- Clinical trials of new therapeutic agents targeting the tumor microenvironment, including immunotherapies (e.g. immune checkpoint inhibitors, engineered T or NK cells)
- Studies that describe the cellular response to immunotherapies during the course of the treatment
- Prediction of patients who could benefit from these therapies (predictive biomarkers)
- Mechanistic studies focusing on signaling pathways and cytokines within the tumor microenvironment that lead to tumor support or inhibition of anti-tumor immunity
Topic Editor MS received funding from Bayer AG.
Keywords: tumor microenvironment, tumor immunology, immune checkpoint blockade, leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, immunotherapy, immune evasion, stromal cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, T-cell exhaustion, B-cell neoplasms
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.