Research Topic

Single Cell Revolution in Cancer Biology and Immunology

About this Research Topic

Intra and inter-tumoral heterogeneity of both cancer cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells has been recently recognized as a key leading factor in determining disease progression and resistance to therapy. During the past 10 years, innovative tools such as next-generation flow cytometry (including spectral flow cytometry), “cytometry by time-of-flight” (CyTOF), single-cell RNAseq (including other additional “features” like TCR, ATAC and CITE-seq), spatial transcriptomic and multiplex immunofluorescence, gave us the possibility to profile tumor microenvironment (TME) at an unprecedented resolution, increasing our comprehension of cancer development and biology and giving us the opportunity to identify new potential therapeutic targets. Moreover, the application of single-cell technologies is refining at very deep resolution the intratumoral heterogeneity and several bio-informatic tools have been developed to identify and characterize gene expression changes upon different genetic lesions at a single-cell resolution. These approaches linked to the microenvironmental changes are leading to a better definition of the biology of cancer.

This research topic aims to collect studies on the improvement of cancer biological knowledge, methodological advancements and innovative analytical tools, which are directly correlated to “single-cell” technologies. Original data (as well as data from public databases with subsequent validations), innovative methodological approaches, new analytical pipelines – especially if focused on how to improve the quality and the amount of useful information that could be obtained from raw data (i.e. data on single-cell mutations starting from RNAseq) – as well as reviews which significantly summarize the state of the art in the field are welcome. Our final goal is to provide readers a novel view of cancer and TME research obtained with the wide application of single-cell analysis. Moreover, we will open the topic also to new generation validation technologies which represent a link between single-cell approaches and ex-vivo experimental tools. Indeed, the new methods for cancer modeling such as organ bio-engineering and organoids whose analysis output is even more frequently given by singe-cell analysis.

The Research Topic will cover, but is not limited to, the following:
• Cancer cells branching evolution study through single-cell methodologies
• Solid and hematological tumors comparisons
• Intra and inter-patients variability of both cancer cells and TME
• TME characterization and evolution
• Identification of novel “actionable” targets
• Single-cell multi-omics approaches (RNA/DNA/proteins)
• Innovative bioinformatics approaches/pipelines for single-cell data analysis
• Epigenetic or metabolic changes impacting single-cell behavior
• Biomarkers discovery through single-cell approaches
• Next generation experimental approaches for ex-vivo validation


Keywords: Single cell, immunology, microenvironment, flow-cytometry, NGS, cancer


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.

Intra and inter-tumoral heterogeneity of both cancer cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells has been recently recognized as a key leading factor in determining disease progression and resistance to therapy. During the past 10 years, innovative tools such as next-generation flow cytometry (including spectral flow cytometry), “cytometry by time-of-flight” (CyTOF), single-cell RNAseq (including other additional “features” like TCR, ATAC and CITE-seq), spatial transcriptomic and multiplex immunofluorescence, gave us the possibility to profile tumor microenvironment (TME) at an unprecedented resolution, increasing our comprehension of cancer development and biology and giving us the opportunity to identify new potential therapeutic targets. Moreover, the application of single-cell technologies is refining at very deep resolution the intratumoral heterogeneity and several bio-informatic tools have been developed to identify and characterize gene expression changes upon different genetic lesions at a single-cell resolution. These approaches linked to the microenvironmental changes are leading to a better definition of the biology of cancer.

This research topic aims to collect studies on the improvement of cancer biological knowledge, methodological advancements and innovative analytical tools, which are directly correlated to “single-cell” technologies. Original data (as well as data from public databases with subsequent validations), innovative methodological approaches, new analytical pipelines – especially if focused on how to improve the quality and the amount of useful information that could be obtained from raw data (i.e. data on single-cell mutations starting from RNAseq) – as well as reviews which significantly summarize the state of the art in the field are welcome. Our final goal is to provide readers a novel view of cancer and TME research obtained with the wide application of single-cell analysis. Moreover, we will open the topic also to new generation validation technologies which represent a link between single-cell approaches and ex-vivo experimental tools. Indeed, the new methods for cancer modeling such as organ bio-engineering and organoids whose analysis output is even more frequently given by singe-cell analysis.

The Research Topic will cover, but is not limited to, the following:
• Cancer cells branching evolution study through single-cell methodologies
• Solid and hematological tumors comparisons
• Intra and inter-patients variability of both cancer cells and TME
• TME characterization and evolution
• Identification of novel “actionable” targets
• Single-cell multi-omics approaches (RNA/DNA/proteins)
• Innovative bioinformatics approaches/pipelines for single-cell data analysis
• Epigenetic or metabolic changes impacting single-cell behavior
• Biomarkers discovery through single-cell approaches
• Next generation experimental approaches for ex-vivo validation


Keywords: Single cell, immunology, microenvironment, flow-cytometry, NGS, cancer


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

16 September 2021 Abstract
21 January 2022 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

16 September 2021 Abstract
21 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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