Research Topic

Deciphering the Microbiome-Immunity-Cancer Axis

About this Research Topic

Trillions of microbes inhabit human body surfaces and cavities and interact with the host constantly. Recently, it came to light that the microbiota is a critical regulator of pro-tumorigenic inflammation that has long been suspected to play a significant role in cancer development. On one hand, pathogenic ...

Trillions of microbes inhabit human body surfaces and cavities and interact with the host constantly. Recently, it came to light that the microbiota is a critical regulator of pro-tumorigenic inflammation that has long been suspected to play a significant role in cancer development. On one hand, pathogenic bacteria can contribute to cancer progression via inducing a variety of tumor-promoting inflammatory responses and initiating a pro-tumorigenic microenvironment. On the other hand, beneficial commensals prevent inflammation and stimulate the host anti-cancer immunity. Thus, a delicate balance between the microbiomes and the immune system play critical roles in the development or prevention of cancer.

In recent years, unprecedented success of cancer immunotherapies spearheaded by immune checkpoint blockade has been made and accumulating evidence appears that the microbiome has an impact on the response to the treatment. Recent discoveries describe the impact of gut microbiota on the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockades targeting the programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) and the cytotoxic T lymphocytes antigen-4 (CTLA-4).

Current studies focus on deciphering i) the molecular basis underlying how the microbes interact with cancer and the immune system, ii) identifying individual microbial species that have profound influence on anti-cancer immunity and cancer treatments, iii) creation of better preclinical models that are representative of human cancers, and iv) development of novel technologies identifying the microbiome composition and certain strains. Advances in all those fields greatly enable the discovery of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, as well as expedite the design of novel microbiome manipulating strategies to prevent, abort and treat cancers.

In this Research Topic, we encourage the submission of Original research, Reviews. and Perspective articles on the interactions between microbiome, cancer, and the immune system, the underlying mechanistic bases, as well as Method articles that innovate the way of study in this field. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of new microbe-based immuno-therapies for cancer. Articles focusing on, but not limited to, the following subtopics are welcome:

(1) Influence of the microbiome on inflammation and the tumor microenvironment.
(2) Impact of the microbiome on cancer immunosurveillance and anti-cancer immunity.
(3) Effects of the microbiome on the efficacy of anti-cancer therapies.
(4) Crosstalk between the microbiome, the immune system, and other systems to affect cancer.
(5) Novel molecules and pathways involved in the microbiome-mediated pro-inflammatory responses or anti-cancer immune responses.
(6) The identification of individual microbial species that affect cancer and immune responses.
(7) Innovative strategies and new therapies to manipulate the microbiome to augment anti-cancer therapeutic responses.
(8) New technologies, methods, and strategies to stimulate studies in the field.


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.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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