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Macrophages in Cancer Therapy

Submission Deadline: 30 April 2024 (closed)

Guest Editors

Dr. Quan Cheng
Department of Neurosurgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China

Dr. Hao Zhang
Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, China

Dr. Kui Zhang
The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, The University of Chicago, USA
Zhangk87@gmail.com; kuizhang@uchicago.edu

Dr. Nan Zhang
College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which comprise most of the immune cells infiltrating the tumor microenvironment (TME), are linked to poor prognosis, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. Phenotypic plasticity enables them to adjust in response to the challenging tumor milieu and contributes to angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, malignant cell proliferation, inflammation, host cell immunosuppression, and therapeutic resistance. TAMs are also antineoplastic, particularly when exposed to drugs that enhance their phagocytic and oxidative actions. In preclinical and clinical investigations, TAMs-targeting techniques, such as TAM removal, phenotypic modification, and enhancement of TAMs' antigen presentation function, result in an anti-tumor innate immune response and have good synergy with other anti-cancer therapies. Numerous investigations have established a tight connection between macrophage polarization and TAM metabolism. New TAM targets for manipulating the TME to enhance therapy will be produced due to the high significance and interest of the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolism of TAMs and the metabolic landscape throughout the progression of cancer and therapies.


The objective of this research topic is to gather thoughtful papers that discuss the development and future of immunity and metabolism in TAMs, to motivate scientists to continue studying tumor immuno-editing and to offer suggestions for using TAMs as targets for TME modulation to enhance clinical cancer therapy.


This Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Mini Reviews, Perspective, and Methods. The themes of this collection include but are not limited to the following areas:


• Molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic reprogramming of TAMs

• TAM metabolic landscape during cancer progression

• TAM metabolic reprogramming in response to anti-cancer therapies

• Macrophage-based diagnostic and immunotherapeutic approaches

• Novel biomarkers related to macrophages that can predict drug response

• Predictive models related to macrophages using computational approaches for optimizing the selection of treatment options.


TAMs, TAM metabolism, Cancer therapy

Published Papers

  • Open Access


    The heterogeneity of tumor-associated macrophages and strategies to target it

    BIOCELL, Vol.48, No.3, pp. 363-378, 2024, DOI:10.32604/biocell.2023.046367
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Macrophages in Cancer Therapy)
    Abstract Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are emerging as targets for tumor therapy because of their primary role in promoting tumor progression. Several studies have been conducted to target TAMs by reducing their infiltration, depleting their numbers, and reversing their phenotypes to suppress tumor progression, leading to the development of drugs in preclinical and clinical trials. However, the heterogeneous characteristics of TAMs, including their ontogenetic and functional heterogeneity, limit their targeting. Therefore, in-depth exploration of the heterogeneity of TAMs, combined with immune checkpoint therapy or other therapeutic modalities could improve the efficiency of tumor treatment. This review focuses More >

  • Open Access


    CMTM6 deletion affects chemoresistance and macrophage M2 polarization in colorectal cancer cells

    BIOCELL, Vol.48, No.2, pp. 229-237, 2024, DOI:10.32604/biocell.2023.045030
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Macrophages in Cancer Therapy)
    Abstract Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) constitutes the leading cause of death worldwide. Chemoresistance and tumor immune evasion are critical contributors to therapeutic failure in cancer patients. CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain-containing 6 (CMTM6) is aberrantly expressed in various cancers and can regulate tumor immunity. However, its role in chemoresistance and tumor immunity of CRC is not well understood. Methods: Online bioinformatics tools were used to analyze expression and prognosis of CMTM6 in CRC patients. CRC cells were transfected with si-CMTM6. Subsequently, the effects on CRC cell viability and chemoresistance were investigated by CCK-8 assay and flow cytometer.… More >

    Graphic Abstract

    CMTM6 deletion affects chemoresistance and macrophage M2 polarization in colorectal cancer cells

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