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Stem Cells in Cancer Progression and Therapy

Call for Papers

Stem cells have been extensively studied in the fields of cancer biology, yet many underlying molecular mechanisms still remain elusive, which significantly impedes its effective clinical translation. On the one hand, cancer stem cells (CSCs), which represent a small cell population within tumors, can differentiate into heterogeneous tumor populations and are responsible for drug resistance and tumor relapse; on the other hand, stem cells can be used to treat hematological cancers through bone marrow transplantation by replenishing hematopoietic stem cells. Stem cells play different roles in particular contexts of cancer research.

In this special issue, we seek research articles and reviews that aim to address the biological and clinical questions pertaining to 1) cancer stem cell-driven tumor progression and cancer therapy resistance and 2) stem cell based anticancer therapy. Specifically, the special issue stresses on the molecular basis of how cancer stem cells adapt to sustain the tumor progression under both physiological and stiff conditions such as hypoxia and various therapies, including cancer immunotherapy. Works that attempt to explore the biological processes under stem cell transplantation therapy, such as how the stem cells home to the local environment, differentiate into progeny cells, and exert paracrine effects, are also desirable.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Genetic and epigenetic difference between cancer stem cells and terminally differentiated cancer cells, such as gene mutation, gene/microRNA expression alternation, DNA methylation, and histone modification
  • Drug treatment response of cancer stem cells, including phenotypes and molecular profiles, compared to those of normal controls and terminally differentiated cancer cells
  • Spatial distribution of cancer stem cells with potential genetic hierarchy in individual cells, ideally based on single cell sequencing techniques
  • Roles of cancer stem cells in tumor progression and cancer therapy resistance, including potential role in cancer immunotherapy
  • Impacts of mesenchymal/embryonic stem cells on tumor progression and relapse
  • Molecular mechanisms for stem cell based anticancer therapy, including stem cell homing, differentiation into progeny cells, and related paracrine effects
  • Database construction for (cancer) stem cell lineage or stem cell based anticancer therapy
  • Mathematical models for cancer stem cell-driven cancer initiation and progression
  • Bioinformatics methods for molecular signature characterization regarding cancer stem cell lineage commitment

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 15 June 2018
Publication DateNovember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

Lead Guest Editor

  • Hua Tan, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, USA

Guest Editors