About this Research Topic
Although recent progress in both basic and clinical research has contributed to the improvement of patient outcomes in neuroblastoma, there are still unfavorable neuroblastoma subtypes with poor survival as a consequence of treatment resistance and metastatic spread, bringing about the need for an alternative diagnostic and therapeutic approach. Moreover, some favorable neuroblastoma subtypes require a personalized and alternative approach to conventional systemic chemotherapy to reduce serious adverse effects.
Although increasing evidence has revealed the molecular heterogeneity of neuroblastoma, clinical applications to target these candidate tumor suppressors/oncogenes remain limited. It has been well recognized that a certain type of neuroblastoma often exhibits a unique characteristic feature, the so-called "spontaneous regression,” regardless of whether it is in the multiple metastatic condition. This has attracted the attention of scientists to clarify the mechanism and thus explore potential clinical applications. Indeed, considerable proof-of-concept trials are under clinical investigation; for example, pan-tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Meanwhile, in addition to the success of chimeric anti-GD2 antibodies in therapeutic benefit for neuroblastoma, recent advances in cancer immunotherapy have highlighted a broad range of potential applications in various malignancies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. This is termed the "tumor agnostic approach" and should be distinguished from a conventional, specific organ-based application, implying possible application for neuroblastoma therapeutics.
In this Research Topic, we propose a novel approach in the diagnosis and therapy of neuroblastoma heterogeneity, based on investigation of genetic/epigenetic aberration, mechanistic insights in signal crosstalk, and immunotherapy targeting neoantigens and/or immune checkpoints for future proof-of-concept clinical trials. We welcome Original Research, Reviews, and Method articles focusing on, but not limited to, the following themes:
1. Novel proposals based on the signal transduction cascade and crosstalk between neuroblastoma tumor suppressors and/or oncogenes.
2. Novel proposals based on neuroblastoma-specific alterations in metabolism and in cellular differentiation and/or reprogramming.
3. Novel neuroblastoma experimental models for tumour development, progression, and screening for drug/multimodal therapy.
4. Novel strategies of combination treatment with currently approved and/or developing drugs, particularly conceptualized around identical genetic/epigenetic aberrations in a tumor agnostic manner.
5. Novel strategies of immunotherapy against neuroblastoma by immune checkpoint inhibitors and/or anti-neoantigen
Keywords: Neuroblastoma, Gene Transcription, Cancer Therapy, Immunotherapy, Epigenetics
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