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Special Issue "Pleiotropic Action of Selenium in the Treatment of Cancer and Related Diseases 2.0"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Youcef M. Rustum
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
Interests: HIFs; TGF-b; oncogenic microRNA-210 druggable targets; mechanism-based biologic and cytotoxic therapies; COVID-19 and selenium
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Targeted therapies alone and in combination with chemotherapy have made significant advances in the treatment of patients with advanced cancers. However, the majority of patients remain unresponsive, with de novo and/or acquired resistance with no cures. Although human tumors and their associated microenvironment are molecularly, histologically, and immunologically heterogeneous, microRNAs (miRs), hypoxia-inducible factor 1a and HIF2a (HIFs), and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b) are ubiquitously over expressed in the majority of advanced cancers. Collectively, oncogenic miRs, HIFs, and TGF-b regulate multiple target genes implicated in increased tumor angiogenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. The altered expression of these specific biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and associated tumor cells likely contributes to the unstable, permeable tumor vasculature limiting the delivery of therapeutically effective drug concentrations to tumor tissues, and thus to tumor cell resistance. The TME is therefore the gatekeeper and tumor cells are the ultimate therapeutic target. Thus, to further advance the quality and quantity of responses achieved with the present standard therapies, future combination treatment strategies should include molecules that contribute to the stabilization of the TME followed sequentially with drugs that target tumor cells. Selenium-containing molecules such as Se-methylselenocysteine (MSC), selene-l-methionine (SLM), and selenized yeast, among others, have been shown to target and modulate biomarkers expressed in tumor cells and their associated microenvironment. Pretreatment with a defined dose and schedule of MSC or SLM has resulted in the stabilization of tumor vasculature, selective increase in drug delivery to tumor cells, and the downregulation of miRs, HIFs, and TGF-b. Administration of anticancer therapeutics when the optimal effects of selenium were achieved resulted in therapeutic synergy. This new and novel strategy is being verified in patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma with very promising results. Recent data seems to associate baseline selenium concentrations with the incidence and recovery from of COVID-19. With the pleiotropic effects of selenium as a molecular and immunologic modulator, low-cost dietary selenium supplementation may be used to enhance the efficacy of drugs and vaccines in patients with COVID-19.

This Special Issue is devoted to soliciting contributions that preclinically or clinically document the therapeutic value that can be derived from agents that target specific miRs, HIFs, and TGF-β individually and/or collectively. The collection of contributions should provide a comprehensive overview of the biology, mechanism of action, and therapeutic potential of inhibitors that target miRs, HIFs, and TGF-b in vitro as well as translated and validated in vivo models. Contributions are also solicited that expand on the potential role of selenium alone and in combination with vaccine in the treatment of COVD-19.

Prof. Dr. Youcef M. Rustum
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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. 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.


  • HIFs
  • TGF-b
  • oncogenic microRNA-210 druggable targets
  • mechanism-based biologic and cytotoxic therapies
  • COVID-19 and selenium

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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