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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women worldwide. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. While the use of the Pap smear as a screening tool has helped to decrease the mortality rates, cervical cancer incidence and mortality remain significantly higher in low-income countries. As promising therapeutic options, three immunotherapy vaccines were recently approved by the FDA to prevent HPV infection and since their introduction the number of new cases of cervical cancer has dropped significantly.

With this collection of research in the field, we want to increase awareness of the disease among women highlighting the importance of a wider vaccine coverage and screening to eradicate cervical cancer worldwide.

Featured papers

High-risk human papilloma virus (HR-HPV) infection is strongly associated with cervical cancer and current evidences link E7 to HPV-associated carcinogenesis. Here the authors propose a model in which the infection of epithelial cells with high risk HPV results in a burst of reactive oxygen species, translocation of LDHA to the nucleus and activation of a gene profile that supports the growth of cervical cancer.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Sequencing cancer genomes reveals low frequency novel somatic variants without known function. Here, the authors leverage statistical methodology from the fields of computational linguistics and ecology to highlight the potentially important signals harboured by these novel variants that are often dismissed.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

CDC25 phosphatases are important cell cycle regulators. Here, the authors show that the LIM domain-containing proteins (for example, FHL1) induce inhibitory CDC25 phosphorylation resulting in radioresistance and that a specific peptide can increase tumour radiosensitivity by increasing CDC25 activity.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The limited efficacy of current immunotherapy suggests low antigen-specific T cells and immunosuppressive factors in tumor microenvironment (TME). Here, the authors develop a syringeable immunomodulatory multi-domain nanogel that can reprogram the TME and induce enhanced cancer immunotherapy.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Understanding the contributions of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on cancer risk is fundamental in determining the intervention and prevention strategies to tackle cancer. Here the authors provide a review of the different factors impacting cancer risk and discuss the limitations of different approaches in evaluating the relative contributions of these factors.

Perspective | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Targeting DNA repair-deficient tumors is one of the most promising therapeutic strategies in cancer research; however, accurately predicting which tumors will respond can be a challenge. Here the authors present a review of the current state of knowledge in DNA repair deficiency across human cancers.

Review Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications