Special Issue "Molecular Pathology in Solid Tumors"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Umberto Malapelle
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples (Naples), Italy
Interests: predictive molecular pathology in solid tumors; next generation technologies in molecular biology; liquid biopsies; predictive oncology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Claudio Bellevicine
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: thyroid cytopathology; thyroid carcinoma; anatomic pathology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is the era of molecular pathology. Today, any aspect of modern medicine is indissolubly related to the pleiotropic world of molecular pathology. In this very exciting scenario, one of the main aims of this new discipline is to find the right way for the right patients, starting from an integrated morpho-molecular diagnosis, through the correct biomarker evaluation for treatment patient selection. In this setting, the implementation of next-generation technologies in association with the differential management of biological samples (e.g., tissue and body fluids) has become the key weapon to improve the clinical outcome of cancer patients.

Moreover, the application of molecular tests to the cytological diagnosis of several neoplasms such as that of the thyroid gland could improve the risk stratification of patients, allowing either a surgical or medical tailored treatment.

In this Special Issue, entitled “Molecular Pathology in Solid Tumors”, we would like to discuss new insights into Molecular Pathology, useful to improve the diagnosis and treatment of solid tumors, with a focus on predictive molecular tests in lung tumors and diagnostic molecular tests in thyroid nodules. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

1) Biomarker discovery;

2) Precision oncology;

3) Morpho-molecular diagnosis in solid tumors;

4) Molecular tests applied to the diagnosis of thyroid neoplasms;

5) Predictive molecular pathology for target treatment patient selections;

6) Application of next-generation technologies in diagnostic and predictive molecular pathology.

The following article types will be considered: Article, Review, Opinion, Perspective.

Dr. Umberto Malapelle
Dr. Claudio Bellevicine
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. Journal of Molecular Pathology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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.


  • molecular pathology
  • solid tumors
  • next-generation technologies, target treatment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
ROC Analysis Identifies Baseline and Dynamic NLR and dNLR Cut-Offs to Predict ICI Outcome in 402 Advanced NSCLC Patients
J. Mol. Pathol. 2020, 1(1), 19-31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmp1010004 - 15 Sep 2020
Background: Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR) and derived Neutrophils-to-(Leukocytes minus neutrophils) Ratio (dNLR) have been proposed as possible biomarkers of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). However, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) studies, various NLR and/or dNLR cut-offs have been used, manly based on [...] Read more.
Background: Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR) and derived Neutrophils-to-(Leukocytes minus neutrophils) Ratio (dNLR) have been proposed as possible biomarkers of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). However, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) studies, various NLR and/or dNLR cut-offs have been used, manly based on previous reports on melanoma. Methods: In this Italian multicenter retrospective study, NLR, dNLR, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, albumin, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were longitudinally assessed in patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with ICI. The primary objective was to evaluate if baseline parameters predicted response to ICI, using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves. Secondary endpoint was to evaluate if dynamic changing of NLR and dNLR also predicted response. Results: Data of 402 patients were collected and analyzed. Among the baseline parameters considered, NLR and dNLR were the most appropriate biomarkers according to the ROC analyses, which also identified meaningful cut-offs (NLR = 2.46; dNLR = 1.61). Patients with low ratios reported a significantly improved outcome, in terms of overall survival (p = 0.0003 for NLR; p = 0.0002 for dNLR) and progression free survival (p = 0.0004 for NLR; p = 0.005 for dNLR). The role of NLR and dNLR as independent biomarkers of response was confirmed in the Cox regression model. When assessing NLR and dNLR dynamics from baseline to cycle 3, a decrease ≥1.04 for NLR and ≥0.41 for dNLR also predicted response. Conclusions in our cohort, we confirmed that NLR and dNLR, easily assessable on peripheral blood, can predict response at baseline and early after ICI initiation. For both baseline and dynamic assessment, we identified clinically meaningful cut-offs, using ROC curves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Pathology in Solid Tumors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Tissue and circulating biomarkers to improve health-related quality of life in breast cancer survivors: a new frontier for molecular pathology
Authors: Nicola Fusco; Marco Invernizzi
Affiliation: Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

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