Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 567 Issue 7749, 28 March 2019

Cancer evolution

In this week’s issue, Rachel Rosenthal, Nicholas McGranahan, Charles Swanton and the TRACERx consortium explore the relationship between tumour evolution and the body’s immune system. Using RNA sequencing and estimates of the number of immune cells in tumours in 88 early-stage non-small-cell lung cancers, the researchers reveal how pressure from the immune microenvironment leads to selection for tumours that can readily evade the body’s defences. The results indicate that the immune microenvironment is highly variable between patients and even between different regions of the same tumour. The team suggests that tumour evolution is shaped by immunoediting that results in multiple distinct evolutionary routes to evade the immune response and that are associated with poorer clinical outcomes for patients after surgery. The cover shows a lung cancer with a diverse distribution of infiltrating immune CD8 T cells in the tumour microenvironment.

Cover image: Jeroen Claus/Phospho Biomedical Animation

This Week

Top of page ⤴

News in Focus

Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴


  • Technology Feature

    • In the age of immunotherapy, cancer biologists are relying on a new generation of tools to learn how the interplay between tumours and immune cells shapes the course of disease.

      • Michael Eisenstein


      Technology Feature
Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴


  • Methods of preservation.

    • Robert Dawson
Top of page ⤴


  • News & Views

    • The function of histone proteins can be modified through addition or removal of certain chemical groups. The addition of a serotonin molecule is a newly found histone modification that could influence gene expression.

      • Marlene Cervantes
      • Paolo Sassone-Corsi
      News & Views
    • The factors that contributed to the explosive nature of the 2015 Zika outbreak in the Americas are not well understood. A new analysis explores the link between prior dengue virus exposure and Zika virus infection.

      • Stephen S. Whitehead
      • Theodore C. Pierson
      News & Views
    • Three studies have demonstrated the cooling and trapping of single strontium and ytterbium atoms in two-dimensional arrays. Such arrays could lead to advances in atomic-clock technology and in quantum simulation and computing.

      • Mark Saffman
      News & Views
    • How Nature reported improved decision-making rules for betting in 1969, and an experiment in international wireless telephony from 1919.

      News & Views
    • Materials called plastic crystals have been found to undergo huge temperature changes when subjected to small pressures near room temperature. Such materials could form the basis of future refrigeration technologies.

      • Claudio Cazorla
      News & Views
    • A protein complex that moves molecules called lipopolysaccharides between the two cell-wall membranes of certain bacteria is a target for antibiotics. Structures now reveal how this complex delivers its load irreversibly.

      • Russell E. Bishop
      News & Views
  • Analysis

  • Articles

    • RNA sequencing data and tumour pathology observations of non-small-cell lung cancers indicate that the immune cell microenvironment exerts strong evolutionary selection pressures that shape the immune-evasion capacity of tumours.

      • Rachel Rosenthal
      • Elizabeth Larose Cadieux
      • Andrew Kidd


    • Cryo-electron microscopy structures of LptB2FGC, in nucleotide-free and vanadate-trapped states, reveal the mechanism of lipopolysaccharide extraction from the inner membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and a role for LptC in efficient lipopolysaccharide transport.

      • Yanyan Li
      • Benjamin J. Orlando
      • Maofu Liao
  • Letters

    • Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements reveal that CoSi and RhSi are nearly ideal topological conductors, with structural chirality and surface helicoid arcs of topological charge ±2 arising from bulk multifold chiral states.

      • Daniel S. Sanchez
      • Ilya Belopolski
      • M. Zahid Hasan
    • Colossal barocaloric effects are observed in the plastic crystal neopentylglycol and found to originate from the extensive molecular orientational disorder, giant compressibility and highly anharmonic lattice dynamics of the material.

      • Bing Li
      • Yukinobu Kawakita
      • Zhidong Zhang
    • Estimates of spatial patterns of nitrogen discharge into water bodies across China between 1955 and 2014 show that current discharge rates are almost three times the acceptable threshold, and ways to restore a clean water environment are suggested.

      • ChaoQing Yu
      • Xiao Huang
      • James Taylor
    • A proof-of-concept clinical trial of patients with histiocytoses with MAPK-pathway mutations showed durable responses to treatment with the MEK1 and MEK2 inhibitor cobimetinib, which indicates that histiocytic neoplasms are dependent on MAPK signalling.

      • Eli L. Diamond
      • Benjamin H. Durham
      • David M. Hyman
    • Transfer of NR4A-deficient T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors is shown to reduce tumour burden and increase survival by shifting T cell transcriptional programs away from exhaustion and towards increased effector function.

      • Joyce Chen
      • Isaac F. López-Moyado
      • Anjana Rao
    • In patient-derived xenograft models of breast cancer in mice, an increase in stress hormones during progression or treatment with their synthetic derivatives activates the glucocorticoid receptor, and results in increased metastatic colonization and reduced survival.

      • Milan M. S. Obradović
      • Baptiste Hamelin
      • Mohamed Bentires-Alj
    • Crystal structures of a five-protein complex comprising the inner-membrane components of the bacterial lipopolysaccharide transporter provide insight into the mechanism of extraction of lipopolysaccharide from the inner membrane and its transport to the outer membrane.

      • Tristan W. Owens
      • Rebecca J. Taylor
      • Daniel Kahne
Top of page ⤴

Amendments & Corrections

Top of page ⤴


  • A large investor in R&D, South Korea’s culture of early technology adoption, combined with its strong computing infrastructure and biological research strengths, make the country an obvious personalized medicine testbed.

    Focal Point
  • From examining the longevity of naked mole rats to manipulating microbubbles with drugs and magnets, to keeping mice up past their bedtimes. Here’s how researchers are finding new ways to treat cancer.

  • Germany is a world leader in scientific research and a top destination for individual researchers. Learn how the country is coupling its scientific work with ambitious manufacturing goals, how it’s becoming more diverse in a globalized research system, and how it’s becoming a powerhouse of renewable energy. See where you can fit in.

    Career Guide
Top of page ⤴
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links