About this Research Topic
Cancer immunotherapy has rapidly passed from being a promising option to be a realistic tool to treat cancer. Some patients treated with neutralizing antibodies targeting immune checkpoints are now cancer free. However, the pace in which the available tools are utilized for many type of cancers is faster than the knowledge that we actually have regarding particular cancer immune responses. Indeed, this is even more patent for brain tumors where the immune responses are frequently overlooked under the common consideration that the brain is an immune privileged site. It is true that the central nervous system maintains a strict regulation with a tight barrier, the blood brain barrier (BBB), but it does not mean that this obstacle is impenetrable for the immune system or for the potential immune-therapies to get through. Many tumors, if not all, located in the nerve tissue show local neuroinflammation, characterized by the activation of astroglia and microglia, but also visited by peripheral immune cells, such as monocytes that become brain macrophages, lymphocyte infiltration such as T cells or B cells, and neutrophils and NK cells among others.
Many questions remain unanswered regarding the immune responses in nervous system tumors and their specific cellular responses. For example, what types of microglia-macrophage phenotypes exist in neoplastic environments within the nerve tissue? Are they functional phagocytic cells? More generally, do other immune cells, such as T cells, retain function in a neoplastic environment in nerve tissue? Is antigen presentation affected and what are the checkpoints preventing induction of immune responses? Other important areas that need to be addressed include the immune mechanisms invoked by therapies, modification of the tumor environmental and the overriding importance of innate versus adaptive immune responses.
In this Frontiers Research Topic, we intend to compile articles where we can come closer to settle down some of these questions. Especially covering different types of tumors hosted in the nerve tissue. We then expect to display the array of distinctive immune responses occurring in the cancers of the nervous system and shed some light to researchers and clinicians that are currently planning or evaluating clinical trials, or designing new therapeutic tools for these types of cancers.
We are particularly interested in manuscripts reporting evidences of the alterations of the immune responses in nervous system tumors, especially obtained from biopsies of patients and from well-established experimental models. Studies showing cellular and molecular characteristics of immune cells innate and adaptive responses in nerve tissue tumors will be prioritized. In addition, preclinical studies of immune-based therapeutics will also be of choice. Data from both clinical and basic studies are welcome for submissions. Both review articles and original scientific papers will be considered for publication.