Research Topic

Single-cell Molecular Characterization for Improving Cancer Immunotherapy

About this Research Topic

Cancer immunotherapy is a promising new way to treat cancer by modulating the immune response. Recent advances in cancer immunotherapies, including adoptive T cell transfer, immune checkpoint blockade and neoantigen-based cancer vaccines, have provided paradigm shifts in treating patients with advanced malignancies. Despite the encouraging results, durable clinical responses have been shown only in a fraction of patients. In addition, acquired therapy resistance, pseudoprogression, hyperprogression and severe side effects are clinically challenging and remain unsolved. They require fundamental understanding of mechanisms and developing clinically applicable biomarkers for predicting responders, early disease progression and drug resistance, as well as guiding combinational treatment with chemo-, radio- or other therapeutic modalities. The complexity of tumor microenvironment and the dynamic nature of the immune response make this attempt difficult and necessitate the development of new tools. With rapid progress in single-cell sequencing and high-dimensional single-cell proteomic assay, single-cell molecular characterization of tumor and immune cells allows resolving the immune response and tumor–immune interaction at the single-cell level. Single cell technologies include but not limited to single-cell DNA sequencing, high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics, as well as single-cell multiplexed protein assay based on flow cytometry, mass cytometry or microfluidics.

This Research Topic aims at making use of single-cell technologies to resolve dynamic immune response and complex tumor–immune interaction at the single-cell level for a fundamental understanding of mechanisms associated with cancer immunotherapy and development of clinically applicable biomarkers for predicting responders before treatment initiation, early disease progression and therapy resistance, as well as guiding combinational therapy.

Original Research articles on the following topics are particularly welcome:
• New technologies for resolving neoantigen repertoire and antigen-reactive T cells
• High-throughput RNA-seq and spatial RNA-seq for resolving tumor microenvironment and tumor-immune interaction
• Innate/acquired resistance mechanisms of cancer immunotherapies
• Predictive markers of responders, pseudoprogression or hyperprogression
• High-dimensional single-cell characterization of dynamic immune response

Topic Editor Qihui Shi is the scientific co-founder of JunHealth, a company aiming to developing single-cell sequencing technologies for clinical applications, and received research funding from BeiGene.


Keywords: Single-cell sequencing, Cancer immunotherapy, PD-1/PD-L1, Neoantigen, Therapy resistance


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.

Cancer immunotherapy is a promising new way to treat cancer by modulating the immune response. Recent advances in cancer immunotherapies, including adoptive T cell transfer, immune checkpoint blockade and neoantigen-based cancer vaccines, have provided paradigm shifts in treating patients with advanced malignancies. Despite the encouraging results, durable clinical responses have been shown only in a fraction of patients. In addition, acquired therapy resistance, pseudoprogression, hyperprogression and severe side effects are clinically challenging and remain unsolved. They require fundamental understanding of mechanisms and developing clinically applicable biomarkers for predicting responders, early disease progression and drug resistance, as well as guiding combinational treatment with chemo-, radio- or other therapeutic modalities. The complexity of tumor microenvironment and the dynamic nature of the immune response make this attempt difficult and necessitate the development of new tools. With rapid progress in single-cell sequencing and high-dimensional single-cell proteomic assay, single-cell molecular characterization of tumor and immune cells allows resolving the immune response and tumor–immune interaction at the single-cell level. Single cell technologies include but not limited to single-cell DNA sequencing, high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics, as well as single-cell multiplexed protein assay based on flow cytometry, mass cytometry or microfluidics.

This Research Topic aims at making use of single-cell technologies to resolve dynamic immune response and complex tumor–immune interaction at the single-cell level for a fundamental understanding of mechanisms associated with cancer immunotherapy and development of clinically applicable biomarkers for predicting responders before treatment initiation, early disease progression and therapy resistance, as well as guiding combinational therapy.

Original Research articles on the following topics are particularly welcome:
• New technologies for resolving neoantigen repertoire and antigen-reactive T cells
• High-throughput RNA-seq and spatial RNA-seq for resolving tumor microenvironment and tumor-immune interaction
• Innate/acquired resistance mechanisms of cancer immunotherapies
• Predictive markers of responders, pseudoprogression or hyperprogression
• High-dimensional single-cell characterization of dynamic immune response

Topic Editor Qihui Shi is the scientific co-founder of JunHealth, a company aiming to developing single-cell sequencing technologies for clinical applications, and received research funding from BeiGene.


Keywords: Single-cell sequencing, Cancer immunotherapy, PD-1/PD-L1, Neoantigen, Therapy resistance


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

20 November 2020 Abstract
31 March 2021 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

20 November 2020 Abstract
31 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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