Research Topic

Self-Eating on Demand: Autophagy in Cancer and Cancer Therapy

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Macroautophagy, the major lysosomal pathway for recycling intracellular components including whole organelles, has emerged as a key process modulating tumorigenesis, tumor–stroma interactions, and cancer therapy. An impressive number of studies over the past decade have unravelled the plastic role of ...

Macroautophagy, the major lysosomal pathway for recycling intracellular components including whole organelles, has emerged as a key process modulating tumorigenesis, tumor–stroma interactions, and cancer therapy. An impressive number of studies over the past decade have unravelled the plastic role of autophagy during tumor development and dissemination. The discoveries that autophagy may either support or repress neoplastic growth and contextually favor or weaken resistance and impact antitumor immunity have spurred efforts from many laboratories trying to conceptualize the complex role of autophagy in cancer using cellular and preclinical models. This complexity is further accentuated by recent findings highlighting that various autophagy-related genes have roles beyond this catabolic mechanism and interface with oncogenic pathways, other trafficking and degradation mechanisms and the cell death machinery. From a therapeutic perspective, knowledge of how autophagy modulates the tumor microenvironment is crucial to devise autophagy-targeting strategies using smart combination of drugs or anticancer modalities. In the current Research Topic we aim to provide a background to the state-of-the-art in the field of autophagy in cancer.

To this end, we encourage submission of review articles, perspectives, and research articles focusing on various aspects of autophagy regulation ranging from its molecular components to its cell autonomous role, e.g. in metabolic reprogramming and oncogenesis, and its non-autonomous role, e.g. in secretion. We also encourage a discussion on the importance of autophagy in shaping tumor-stroma interactions during carcinogenesis and in the context of anticancer treatments. We also welcome articles dealing with future clinical prospects of the use of current or novel autophagy modulators in anticancer therapy.


Keywords: autophagy, cancer, cancer therapy, autophagy-genetics, oncogenes, tumor, tumor cell-stroma, cachexia


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