Special Issue "Molecular and Cellular Changes in the Formation of Tumor-Initiating Cells"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zhe Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck St, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Interests: cellular origin of cancer; stem cell and cancer; premalignant and tumor microenvironment; mouse models of human cancer; developmental oncobiology; breast cancer; ovarian cancer; prostate cancer; mammary gland biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tumor-Initiating Cells (TICs), also known as Cancer Stem Cells, refer to a subset of cancer cells capable of self-renewal proliferation and producing all other cancer cell types within a tumor. The concept of TICs is originally a functional definition, largely based on transplantation assays. The term TICs is now more widely used in cancer biology, often referring to or overlapping with cellular origin of cancer, most recent common ancestor of cancer (based on sequencing data), cancer cells with stem cell-like properties, therapy-resistant cancer cells, or metastasis-initiating cells. Nevertheless, TICs represent a key subset of cancer cells responsible for cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance; therefore, a better mechanistic understanding of their formation would be essential for developing novel strategies of cancer prevention and therapy, and for overcoming therapy resistance.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to define molecular and cellular changes leading to the formation of TICs, including 1) genetic basis and/or epigenetic mechanism of TIC formation; 2) contribution of environmental factors (e.g., immune cells) to TIC formation; 3) drug resistance and TICs; 4) formation of metastasis-initiating cells; 5) emerging technology for studying TICs. This Special Issue welcomes both original research articles and reviews.

Dr. Zhe Li
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 2400 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.


  • cancer stem cell
  • stem cell and cancer
  • cellular origin of cancer
  • tumor microenvironment
  • immune mechanism
  • most recent common ancestor of cancer
  • metastasis-initiating cell
  • cellular basis of cancer therapy resistance
  • genetic and epigenetic basis of tumor initiation
  • tumor cell heterogeneity

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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