Special Issue "Interplay between Peripheral Inflammatory Markers and the Local Immune Response in Breast Cancer"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694). This special issue belongs to the section "Tumor Microenvironment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Peter van Dam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Multidisciplinary Oncologic Center Antwerp (MOCA), Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, B2650, Belgium; Centre for Oncological Research (CORE) and Integrated Personalized and Precision Oncology Network (IPPON), University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, B2610, Belgium
Interests: tumor microenvironment; inflammatory breast cancer; cervical cancer
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

As observed for other tumour types, the immune system plays a central role in the origin, progression and response to breast cancer treatment.

The tumour microenvironment (TME) is characterized by a specific immunological ecosystem that can either promote tumour growth or eliminate cancer cells through different pathophysiological mechanisms. Studies have demonstrated that hormone receptor (HR)-negative (-) breast cancer is more immunogenic than HR-positive (+) breast cancer. Immune cells form a major component of the TME, where the more pro-tumorigenic (e.g., CD4+ Th2 (T-helper 2), FOXP3+ T-regulatory (T-reg)) and tumour suppressor (e.g. CD8+, CD4+ Th1 (T-helper1), NK (natural killer)) cells interact with each other but also with tumor cells and other cells, such as fibroblasts. Particularly, co-localisation of (immune) cells seems to be relevant. This complex interplay has a major effect on tumor behaviour. Several studies have shown that high TIL infiltration is associated with a pathological complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and improved survival in Her2 amplified and triple negative breast cancer. A recent meta-analysis in the neoadjuvant setting showed that the TIL score is a reliable biomarker for predicting pCR in all breast cancer subtypes. The role of peripheral systemic immunity in breast cancer development is less clear. Elevation of the peripheral neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (NLR) ratio, an indicator of systemic inflammation, has been associated with a worse prognosis in several types of solid tumour. In a breast-cancer-specific meta-analysis, a significant correlation was found between NLR and both OS and RFS, indicating that the NLR might be a promising prognostic marker. Although less studied, the platelet–lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and the lymphocyte–monocyte ratio (LMR) are also peripheral-blood-derived prognostic inflammation markers with prognostic significance in breast cancer. Finally, these inflammatory markers have also been related to chemosensitivity in breast and other solid cancers. Both a low PLR and a low NLR have been associated with a complete pathological response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in several studies. Although it seems that there is a negative effect of systemic inflammation on breast cancer prognosis, the relationship between peripheral inflammatory indices and the local immune response remains unclear and requires further study.

We encourage authors who are active in this field to submit papers for this Special Issue.

Dr. Peter van Dam
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 papers will be 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. Cancers 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 2200 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.


  • inflammation
  • immune response
  • breast cancer
  • lymphocytes

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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