Research Topic

Therapeutic Approaches and Challenges to Epstein Barr Virus-Associated Diseases: Targeting the Immune System

About this Research Topic

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gamma-herpes virus, establishes life-long persistent infection in more than 90% of human adult population worldwide. Although most EBV infections are asymptomatic, they are the direct cause of infectious mononucleosis and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders. Moreover, EBV is associated with multiple malignancies of B cell origin (Burkitt, Hodgkin and B cell lymphomas in immunosuppressed individuals) and epithelial malignancies (nasopharyngeal carcinoma and a subset of gastric carcinomas). EBV infection accounts for about 200,000 new cancer cases each year globally, representing at least 2% of the world’s total annual cancer incidence. Therefore, there is an impetus to therapeutic or prophylactic vaccines to prevent EBV-associated diseases.

The development of EBV-associated diseases typically involves long-term virus-host interaction. Persistent infection of EBV drives a series of genetic and epigenetic changes in multiple host cells, and also has a strong immunoediting effect. Although EBV is able to activate protective immune responses at the early stage during tumor evolution, it also expresses viral antigens that lead to immune evasion. Furthermore, in addition to transforming tumor cells, chronic infection by EBV contributes to an immunosuppressive microenvironment to promote tumor progression.

Taken together, immune surveillance and evasion play a vital role in the control of persistent EBV infection and the pathogenesis of EBV-associated diseases. Understanding the virus-host interactions and the immunoediting process in EBV-associated diseases would empower the development of novel and effective targeted therapies.

In this Research Topic, we welcome the submission of Original Research, Clinical Trial, Review and Mini-Review articles that are related to the following topics:

1. Vaccines to treat and prevent EBV-associated diseases
2. Immunotherapies to EBV-associated diseases (immune checkpoint inhibitors, epigenetic modifying drugs which play roles in immune modulation, etc.)
3. Virus-host interactions in EBV-associated diseases that may empower the development of novel and effective targeted therapies
4. Immunoediting of tumor microenvironment in EBV-associated tumors


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.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gamma-herpes virus, establishes life-long persistent infection in more than 90% of human adult population worldwide. Although most EBV infections are asymptomatic, they are the direct cause of infectious mononucleosis and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders. Moreover, EBV is associated with multiple malignancies of B cell origin (Burkitt, Hodgkin and B cell lymphomas in immunosuppressed individuals) and epithelial malignancies (nasopharyngeal carcinoma and a subset of gastric carcinomas). EBV infection accounts for about 200,000 new cancer cases each year globally, representing at least 2% of the world’s total annual cancer incidence. Therefore, there is an impetus to therapeutic or prophylactic vaccines to prevent EBV-associated diseases.

The development of EBV-associated diseases typically involves long-term virus-host interaction. Persistent infection of EBV drives a series of genetic and epigenetic changes in multiple host cells, and also has a strong immunoediting effect. Although EBV is able to activate protective immune responses at the early stage during tumor evolution, it also expresses viral antigens that lead to immune evasion. Furthermore, in addition to transforming tumor cells, chronic infection by EBV contributes to an immunosuppressive microenvironment to promote tumor progression.

Taken together, immune surveillance and evasion play a vital role in the control of persistent EBV infection and the pathogenesis of EBV-associated diseases. Understanding the virus-host interactions and the immunoediting process in EBV-associated diseases would empower the development of novel and effective targeted therapies.

In this Research Topic, we welcome the submission of Original Research, Clinical Trial, Review and Mini-Review articles that are related to the following topics:

1. Vaccines to treat and prevent EBV-associated diseases
2. Immunotherapies to EBV-associated diseases (immune checkpoint inhibitors, epigenetic modifying drugs which play roles in immune modulation, etc.)
3. Virus-host interactions in EBV-associated diseases that may empower the development of novel and effective targeted therapies
4. Immunoediting of tumor microenvironment in EBV-associated tumors


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

07 March 2021 Manuscript
30 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

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

07 March 2021 Manuscript
30 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

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

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