Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Pediatric Cancer—Second Edition

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Cellular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 135

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Children’s Mercy Research Institute, Kansas City, MO, USA
Interests: stem cells; immunotherapy; cancer stem cells; therapy resistance; drug discovery; pediatric cancer
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pediatric cancer presents unique treatment challenges as well as opportunities. Current treatment strategies typically involve the use of highly toxic drugs, which can result in life-long side effects. Treatment failure and relapse lead to increasingly worse outcomes and side effects from increasingly toxic therapies. Despite some striking progress, particularly against certain B cell hematological malignancies, pediatric cancers typically lack the large number of mutations that make immunotherapy options effective. Genomic medicine offers the opportunity to identify genetic and, perhaps more importantly, epigenetic changes that might be targeted by molecular and immune-based therapies. This Special Issue will review how the genomes and epigenomes of pediatric patients are unique and potentially targetable. Recently, cutting-edge advances include efforts to prevent the exhaustion of anti-cancer T cells, particularly those expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) targeting tumor cells. Related investigations include research on enigmatic populations of stem-like T cells. CRISPR has also become a powerful tool for genome-wide screens and can be used to achieve an unprecedented level of highly specific genetic manipulation. New immune checkpoints and corresponding inhibitors are being discovered, and advances in bispecific antibodies and CAR constructs are being explored to prevent treatment failure. Furthermore, the tumor microenvironment, characterized as immunologically “hot” or “cold”, is being deciphered to better employ these immunotherapies or (re)activate endogenous immunotherapies. Identifying rare genetic and epigenetic variants that contribute to pediatric cancer using these new tools and concepts will lead to new treatment options for this vulnerable population.

Dr. John M. Perry
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2700 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.


  • immunotherapy
  • pediatric cancer
  • CAR T cells
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • tumor microenvironment
  • therapy resistance
  • targeted therapy
  • adoptive cell transfer
  • stem-like T cells
  • bispecific antibodies
  • cancer vaccines

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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