Special Issue "Metastatic Progression and Tumour Heterogeneity"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Fred Hollande

Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Gastro-intestinal Cancers; Tumor progression; Metastasis; Treatment response; Tumor heterogeneity; Cell adhesion; cell signaling
Guest Editor
Dr. Delphine Merino

Translational Breast Cancer Program, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Heidelberg Vic 3084 Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Breast Cancer; Metastasis; Cell Death; Tumor progression; Heterogeneity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Intratumoral heterogeneity is one of the biggest current challenges for cancer therapy. However, exciting recent developments in single-cell -omics, cellular tracking, and imaging, alongside the expansion of new tools to study clonal and phenotypic diversity in patient samples—such as PDXs, organoids, and liquid biopsies—enable a deeper understanding of the heterogeneous molecular mechanisms that drive tumor progression and underlie poor treatment outcomes.

These new research approaches have unraveled an unforeseen level of cellular and molecular complexity within tumors. High-throughput sequencing has highlighted the broad inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity that exists amongst patient cohorts and across tumor streams, while longitudinal studies indicate that the diversity of malignant cell populations that make up primary tumors and metastases can evolve in space and time. Cancer therapies can also reshape the cellular and molecular profile of tumors, and the elucidation of the mechanisms that drive treatment-induced plasticity, selection, and resistance will inform the design of new combinational therapies.

Furthermore, the cellular and molecular features of the tumor microenvironment, including immune cells, have to be taken into consideration for the understanding of tumor progression. Targeting both tumor cells and tumor microenvironment is also an exciting area of investigation, with new approaches such as immunotherapy now emerging as powerful treatment alternatives. Importantly, the heterogeneity of microenvironmental effectors and signals is still marginally understood and will undoubtedly represent the focus of extensive analyses in the next few years.

Thus, comprehensive and integrated analyses of tumor and microenvironment heterogeneity are essential to both improve the overall diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer and further progress towards precision medicine. This Special Issue will highlight the state-of-the-art technologies aiming to dissect the heterogeneity of malignant cells and their microenvironment and will cover some of the promising discoveries that are likely to improve cancer patients’ outcome.

Assoc. Prof. Fred Hollande
Dr. Delphine Merino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Tumor Progression
  • Heterogeneity
  • Cancer Therapy
  • Biopsies
  • Microenvironment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview The Impact of Tumor Eco-Evolution in Renal Cell Carcinoma Sampling
Cancers 2018, 10(12), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10120485
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Malignant tumors behave dynamically as cell communities governed by ecological principles. Massive sequencing tools are unveiling the true dimension of the heterogeneity of these communities along their evolution in most human neoplasms, clear cell renal cell carcinomas (CCRCC) included. Although initially thought to [...] Read more.
Malignant tumors behave dynamically as cell communities governed by ecological principles. Massive sequencing tools are unveiling the true dimension of the heterogeneity of these communities along their evolution in most human neoplasms, clear cell renal cell carcinomas (CCRCC) included. Although initially thought to be purely stochastic processes, very recent genomic analyses have shown that temporal tumor evolution in CCRCC may follow some deterministic pathways that give rise to different clones and sub-clones randomly spatially distributed across the tumor. This fact makes each case unique, unrepeatable and unpredictable. Precise and complete molecular information is crucial for patients with cancer since it may help in establishing a personalized therapy. Intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) detection relies on the correctness of tumor sampling and this is part of the pathologist’s daily work. International protocols for tumor sampling are insufficient today. They were conceived decades ago, when ITH was not an issue, and have remained unchanged until now. Noteworthy, an alternative and more efficient sampling method for detecting ITH has been developed recently. This new method, called multisite tumor sampling (MSTS), is specifically addressed to large tumors that are impossible to be totally sampled, and represent an opportunity to improve ITH detection without extra costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metastatic Progression and Tumour Heterogeneity)

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