Research Topic

Cancer Therapy: The Challenge of Handling a Double-Edged Sword

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About this Research Topic

Cancer is a worldwide public health priority, with a high socioeconomical burden. Although huge strides have been made to decrease the growing number of cancer cases – through decrease of known risk factors, early detection, improved treatment - cancer treatment (surgery, radiation therapy and systemic ...

Cancer is a worldwide public health priority, with a high socioeconomical burden. Although huge strides have been made to decrease the growing number of cancer cases – through decrease of known risk factors, early detection, improved treatment - cancer treatment (surgery, radiation therapy and systemic treatment) often leads to side effects and impairments greatly feared by patients and clinicians.

The type and prevalence of cancer treatment’s side effects vary with clinical factors and patient characteristics. Many of them are acute and short-lived, and reasonably well handled with current cancer care protocols, although drugs aimed at preventing or reducing the impact of cancer treatment’s side effects may bring their own side effects. Those that are not so well controlled may greatly reduce quality of life and even lead to treatment interruption. Furthermore, some side effects may be persistent and can become chronic or may emerge as late effects months or even years after the completion of primary cancer treatment.

Indeed, knowledge gaps about the needs of cancer survivors and a lack of strong evidence-based guidelines for post-treatment care are recognized. Newly developed systemic treatments (targeted therapy, hormonal therapy, and immunotherapy), which theoretically have an improved benefit/risk ratio, significantly affect patients’ quality of life in the long run or when used in a larger, less homogeneous populations.

The present Research Topic is intended to address all the relevant issues that may help identify, explain, relieve, avoid and manage cancer treatment-induced side effects, particularly those associated with systemic treatment. It is created as a continuation (volume 2) of a previous Research Topic: Adverse Effects of Cancer Chemotherapy: Anything New to Improve Tolerance and Reduce Sequelae?

Our goal is to set a forum for Original Research (preclinical, clinical, translational) and Review articles focused on side effects associated with cancer systemic treatment (including conventional chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy) and their management. Studies on the following topics are welcome:

• Genetic and environmental factors that make certain individuals/populations more prone (or the opposite, more resistant) to suffer adverse effects/sequelae from cancer treatment in a more severe manner
• Previously unknown adverse effects/sequelae of conventional or newly developed anti-cancer drugs and novel drug delivery approaches
• New cell/tissue/animal models to study adverse effects/sequelae of cancer treatment
• New clinical tools for identification and quantification of adverse effects/sequelae of cancer treatment
• Molecular/cell/tissue mechanisms involved in the development and eventual maintenance of adverse effects/sequelae of cancer treatment
• New strategies to prevent/manage adverse effects/sequelae of cancer treatment
• Impact of adverse effects/sequelae of cancer chemotherapy on society, economy and health system
• Historical overview of any of the above

Topic Editor John A. Rudd received financial support from Takeda. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Cancer, chemotherapthy, immunotherapy, side effects, sequelae


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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