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Cancer at Nature Research

The Nature Research editors who handle cancer primary research, methods, protocols and reviews bring you the latest articles, covering all aspects from disease mechanisms to therapeutic approaches. Collected here you will also find specially curated content, such as collections, focus issues and animations, all ready to be used in presentations and educational materials. You can also find out about the editors handling cancer content, and the journals at Nature Research that publish articles on this topic and how to submit to them.

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Research Articles

Depletion of transforming growth factor-β receptor 2 (TGFBR2) in CD4+ T cells results in IL-4-dependent vascular remodelling, stopping tumour growth in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer, suggesting that type 2 immunity could be targeted for cancer treatments.

Article | | Nature

Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-based immunotherapies can induce tumor regressions by targeting HLA class I-bound tumor-associated peptides. Here, the authors identified a peptide derived from Vestigial-like 1 (VGLL1) as a shared, potentially therapeutic CTL target expressed by multiple cancer types.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Sinha et al. demonstrate that overexpression of centrosomal protein Cep55 in mice is sufficient to cause a wide-spectrum of cancer via multiple mechanisms including hyperactivation of the Pi3k/Akt pathway, stabilized microtubules and a defective replication checkpoint response. These findings are relevant to human cancers as high CEP55 expression is associated with worse prognosis across multiple cancer types.

Article | Open Access | | Communications Biology

Yubero et al. report a close connection between energy metabolism and cell stiffness in breast cancer cells, finding that healthy cell stiffness is based on ATP-driven actin polymerization, whereas in metastatic cells it is based on ATP-driven myosin II activity. They show that noninvasive cancerous cells exhibit an anomalous behavior, as their stiffness is little affected by the lack of nutrients and energy.

Article | Open Access | | Communications Biology

Yukiko Inagaki-Kawata et al. report an analysis of germline variants in breast cancer susceptibility genes in 1,995 Japanese breast cancer patients. They find that 5.1% of the patients carry germline variants in cancer-linked genes and investigate the characteristics of patients with germline mutations in BRCA1/2.

Article | Open Access | | Communications Biology

Acral melanoma occurs on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and in nail beds. Here, the authors reports the genomic landscape of 87 acral melanomas and find that some tumors harbor a UV signature and that the tumors are diverse at the levels of mutational signatures, structural aberrations and copy number signatures.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Atsumi et al. identify antigens to B-cell receptors isolated from gastric tumour samples. They find that focal adhesion-related protein complexes, several of which are also targets for autoimmune disease, are major humoral cancer antigens. These findings provide insights into humoral immunity in tumor environments.

Article | Open Access | | Communications Biology

Distributed multi-omic digitization of clinical specimen across multiple sites is a prerequisite for turning molecular precision medicine into reality. Here, the authors show that coordinated proteotype data acquisition is feasible using standardized MS data acquisition and analysis strategies.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Manon Penco-Campillo, Yannick Comoglio et al. show that VEGFC decreases the proliferation and migration of medulloblastoma cells, as well as their ability to form pseudo vessels. Cells expressing high levels of VEGFC also form smaller tumors when subcutaneously injected into the flank of nude mice, thus highlighting a negative regulatory role for VEGFC on tumor growth.

Article | Open Access | | Communications Biology

Cryopreservation is standard protocol prior to using NK cells in immunotherapy. Here the authors show that cryopreservation substantially reduces the clinical utility of these cells owing to a defect in their motility, an effect that might account for failure to treat some cancers with NK cell immunotherapy.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The folate receptor alpha (FRα) is overexpressed in the majority of high-grade serous ovarian cancers and has been proposed as a candidate vaccine antigen. Here the authors report the safety and immunogenicity of Th17-inducing dendritic cells pulsed with FRα-derived epitopes in an early phase I clinical trial with ovarian cancer patients.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Genomic analysis of neuroblastoma has revealed important disease etiology. In this study, the authors assembled whole genome, exome and transcriptome data from over 700 neuroblastomas and identified molecular signatures correlated with age, and rare, potentially targetable variants overlooked in smaller cohorts.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Mutations in TP53 and hyperactivation of the PI3K/AKT pathway are the two most frequent drivers of cancer progression across multiple human tumour types. Here, the authors identify two TAp63 regulated long non-coding RNAs, TROLL-2 and TROLL-3, that connect these oncogenic pathways, thus promoting tumour and metastasis formation in a wide variety of cancer types.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications


This Review discusses how altered processing or activity of coding and non-coding RNAs contributes to cancer, introducing the regulation of gene expression by coding and non-coding RNA and discussing both established and emerging roles for RNAs in cancer.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Cancer

The majority of individuals with cancer, notably those with breast or prostate cancer, will develop bone metastases. In this Primer, Coleman and colleagues discuss the epidemiology, pathophysiology and diagnosis of metastatic bone disease and highlight the specific treatment strategies to prevent disease progression and to manage skeletal morbidities.

Primer | | Nature Reviews Disease Primers

Emerging data have revealed that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis are associated with the reactivation of developmental pathways in the liver injury response. This Review describes the role of these pathways in liver development and in the pathogenesis of NASH and fibrosis.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Despite the introduction of novel therapies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Randomized controlled trials of low-dose CT-based lung cancer screening in high-risk populations have shown a reduction in mortality. The authors of this Review discuss these studies and present the Screening Planning and Implementation RAtionale for Lung cancer (SPIRAL), a framework to define the scope of future implementation research on lung cancer screening.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology

Tumors are more than cancer cells — the extracellular matrix is a protein structure that organizes all tissues and is altered in cancer. Here, the authors review recent progress in understanding how the cancer cells and tumor-associated stroma cells remodel the extracellular matrix to drive tumor growth and metastasis.

Review Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

This Perspective discusses how therapeutic resistance is not only driven by genetic evolution but often involves non-genetic adaptive mechanisms that are intimately linked. Acknowledging these adaptive processes will enable the development of innovative strategies to monitor and counteract non-genetic therapy resistance as well as provide novel therapeutic avenues.

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Cancer

Metastatic dissemination can occur early during cancer progression, yet clinically overt metastases are often not detected for many years after surgical removal of the primary tumour. In this Perspective, Klein argues that understanding the ‘invisible’ phase of metastatic colonization is necessary to explain this phenomenon and develop better therapies to prevent metastasis.

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Cancer

Despite several major therapeutic advances, multiple myeloma (MM) remains largely incurable, indicating a need for novel therapies. Thus, considerable research interest exists in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting BCMA, which is almost universally expressed on MM cells. In this Review, the authors describe the clinical experience with anti-BCMA CAR T cells and discuss several new directions of future research that might prolong the responses of patients receiving these therapies.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology

Technological advances have enabled the analysis of whole genomes, leading to the identification of causal factors that present new opportunities to prevent cancer. The authors of this Review discuss relevant findings in cancer genetics and genomics from the perspective of global cancer prevention and present a conceptual framework for the translation of such findings into clinical practice and evidence-based policies.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology

This Review describes the interplay between host genetics, host immunity and the gut microbiome in the modulation of colorectal cancer, and discusses the role of specific bacterial species and metabolites alongside technological advances that will facilitate more in-depth investigation of the microbiome in disease.

Review Article | | Nature

News & Commentary

In situ metabolic labelling and targeted modulation of dendritic cells has been achieved using a hydrogel system in combination with covalent capture of antigens and adjuvants, facilitating improved tumour-specific immune response.

News & Views | | Nature Materials

Mitochondrial DNA damage, metabolic disruption and aging have all been associated with cancer. These three threads are now woven together to show that aging-associated somatic mutations to mitochondrial DNA alter mitochondrial serine metabolism to support cell transformation and colon-cancer development.

News & Views | | Nature Cancer

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program’s multi-platform sequencing approach identified molecular alterations in 94% of a cohort of 247 pediatric patients with high-risk cancers, which has enabled more-precise diagnoses and alternative therapeutic recommendations.

News & Views | | Nature Medicine

Targeted small-molecule inhibition of BRAFV600E faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the clinic, such as rapid emergence of drug resistance. A recent study illustrates the potential of an alternative therapeutic strategy via PROTAC-mediated degradation of the oncogenic BRAF.

News & Views | | Nature Chemical Biology

Cell culture media are typically selected on the basis of common laboratory practices but have major effects on the validity, reproducibility and physiological relevance of the scientific findings. We provide arguments and quantitative examples of why choosing an appropriate cell culture medium matters, particularly in metabolic studies.

Comment | | Nature Metabolism

Effective methods for treating retinoblastoma while preserving vision are an unmet clinical need. Subretinal delivery of a hydrogel containing T cells that secrete the cytokine IL-15 and express a chimeric antigen receptor directed at the ganglioside protein GD2 completely controls retinoblastoma in immunocompromised mice, with no obvious damage to the surrounding retina.

News & Views | | Nature Cancer

Cancer sequencing studies have revealed that urothelial carcinomas harbour recurrent mutations in multiple genes that control epigenetics. A major challenge for basic and clinical researchers is to convert this genetic information into biological and pathological insights, as well as to tailor novel therapeutic modalities for individual patients with bladder cancer.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Urology

Cancer has found a formidable foil in COVID-19, and this has brought to the fore the early concerns that COVID-19 could have a deeper impact on oncology patients. Two studies now provide insights into the enigma surrounding the determinants of the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms in patients with cancer.

News & Views | | Nature Cancer

Plastics have an integral role in our daily lives but at a considerable cost to the environment and, as we are now learning, to human health. Increased plastic exposure has been linked to compromised endocrine function, reproductive health and semen quality and, potentially, urological cancers. However, the long-term consequences of plastic exposure remain to be seen.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Urology

Sequencing the genomes of individual skin cells called melanocytes has revealed a rich landscape of DNA changes. These insights shed light on the origins of melanoma, an aggressive type of cancer.

News & Views | | Nature

Methods & Protocols

Here, the authors present standardized computational pipelines tailored specifically to the analysis of cancer genome sequencing data from mice. The protocol enables detection of single-nucleotide variants, indels, copy-number variations, loss of heterozygosity and complex rearrangements such as those of chromothripsis.

Protocol | | Nature Protocols