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Cancer Microenvironment

Section edited by Davide Bedognetti

© © nopparit / Getty Images / iStock

The Cancer microenvironment section publishes research on the cellular and molecular components of the cancer microenvironment, with a particular focus on translational research that has important implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human neoplasms.

Submissions that relate to the characterisation of the molecular profile and regulation of cancers at different tumour stages are especially welcome, as are those which identify specific cancer microenvironments that predict tumour incidence, response to therapy and outcome. Laboratory studies of new drugs and biological agents that target cancer microenvironments will also be considered.

Featured articles


microRNA-1271 impedes the development of prostate cancer by downregulating PES1 and upregulating ERβ

Research | Zhenming Jiang et al


Tumor microenvironment differences between primary tumor and brain metastases

Review | Bernardo Cacho-Díaz et al


Identification of key genes controlling breast cancer stem cell characteristics via stemness indices analysis

Research | Jianying Pei et al

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  1. The characterization of the immune component of the tumor microenvironment (TME) of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+) breast cancer has been limited. Molecular and spatial characterizat...

    Authors: Ilana Schlam, Sarah E. Church, Tyler D. Hether, Krysta Chaldekas, Briana M. Hudson, Andrew M. White, Emily Maisonet, Brent T. Harris and Sandra M. Swain

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:480

    Content type: Research

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  2. The diversity and plasticity behind ER+/PR−/HER2− breast cancer have not been widely explored. It is essential to identify heterogeneous microenvironment phenotypes and investigate specific genomic events driv...

    Authors: Peiling Xie, Rui An, Shibo Yu, Jianjun He and Huimin Zhang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:398

    Content type: Research

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  3. Tumor heterogeneity is a primary cause of treatment failure. However, changes in drug sensitivity over time are not well mapped in cancer. Patient-derived organoids (PDOs) may predict clinical drug responses e...

    Authors: Kushtrim Kryeziu, Seyed H. Moosavi, Christian H. Bergsland, Marianne G. Guren, Peter W. Eide, Max Z. Totland, Kristoffer Lassen, Andreas Abildgaard, Arild Nesbakken, Anita Sveen and Ragnhild A. Lothe

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:384

    Content type: Research

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  4. Antiangiogenic therapy has increasingly become an important strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Recent studies have shown that the tumour microenvironment (TME) promotes tumour angiogenesis. Bufal...

    Authors: Kai Fang, Yueping Zhan, Ruiqiu Zhu, Yuqian Wang, Chengqi Wu, Min Sun, Yanyan Qiu, Zeting Yuan, Xin Liang, Peihao Yin and Ke Xu

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:383

    Content type: Research

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  5. Tumor-derived exosomes (TEXs) are involved in tumor progression and the immune modulation process and mediate intercellular communication in the tumor microenvironment. Although exosomes are considered promisi...

    Authors: Jiani Wu, Dongqiang Zeng, Shimeng Zhi, Zilan Ye, Wenjun Qiu, Na Huang, Li Sun, Chunlin Wang, Zhenzhen Wu, Jianping Bin, Yulin Liao, Min Shi and Wangjun Liao

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:381

    Content type: Research

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  6. Since interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family functions in immune response to viral infection, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been inspected before. This study tries to investigate members of IR...

    Authors: Yan-Jie Chen, Shu-Neng Luo, Ling Dong, Tao-Tao Liu, Xi-Zhong Shen, Ning-Ping Zhang and Li Liang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:379

    Content type: Research

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  7. Accumulative evidence shows that an organoid is a more practical and reliable tool in cancer biology research. This study aimed to identify and validate crucial genes involved in non-small cell lung cancer car...

    Authors: Xiao Ma, Su Yang, Hesheng Jiang, Yujie Wang and Zhen Xiang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:368

    Content type: Research

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  8. Fine tuned balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is essential for tumor cells and tumor cells use immune checkpoints to evade attack form immunity system. However, it’s unclear whether there is any crosstal...

    Authors: Bangbao Tao, Juanhong Shi, Shuai Shuai, Haiyan Zhou, Hongxia Zhang, Bin Li, Xiaoqiang Wang, Guohui Li, Hua He and Jun Zhong

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:338

    Content type: Research

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  9. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths accounting for 24% of all cancer deaths. As a crucial phase of tumor progression, lung cancer metastasis is linked to over 70% of these mortalities....

    Authors: Lei Yin, Xiaotian Liu, Xuejun Shao, Tao Feng, Jun Xu, Qi Wang and Shenghao Hua

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:312

    Content type: Review

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  10. This is the first study to build and evaluate a predictive model for early relapse after R0 resection in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with microvascular invasion (MVI).

    Authors: Kai Zhang, Changcheng Tao, Tana Siqin, Jianxiong Wu and Weiqi Rong

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:293

    Content type: Research

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  11. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) has been implicated in the progression of esophageal cancer (EC). However, the specific mechanism of the involvement of MEG3 in EC development in...

    Authors: Qi-Rong Xu, Jian Tang, Hong-Ying Liao, Ben-Tong Yu, Xiang-Yuan He, Yu-Zhen Zheng and Sheng Liu

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:264

    Content type: Research

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  12. Soft-tissue sarcomas (STS) are a heterogeneous group of mesenchymal tumors for which response to immunotherapies is not well established. Therefore, it is important to risk-stratify and identify STS patients w...

    Authors: Malte Simon, Sadaf S. Mughal, Peter Horak, Sebastian Uhrig, Jonas Buchloh, Bogac Aybey, Albrecht Stenzinger, Hanno Glimm, Stefan Fröhling, Benedikt Brors and Charles D. Imbusch

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:204

    Content type: Research

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  13. Growing attention have been paid to the relationship between TP53 and tumor immunophenotype, but there are still lacking enough search on the field of gastric cancer (GC).

    Authors: Junyu Huo, Liqun Wu and Yunjin Zang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:183

    Content type: Research

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  14. Patient-derived xenografts established from human cancers are important tools for investigating novel anti-cancer therapies. Establishing PDXs requires a significant investment and many PDXs may be used infreq...

    Authors: Lindsey Abel, Arda Durmaz, Rong Hu, Colin Longhurst, Andrew M. Baschnagel, Deric Wheeler, Jacob G. Scott and Randall J. Kimple

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:180

    Content type: Research

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  15. As part of the 2020 Immunotherapy Bridge virtual congress (December 2nd–3rd, Italy), the Great Debate session featured counterpoint views from leading experts on three clinical questions in immunotherapy today...

    Authors: Paolo A. Ascierto, Joshua Brody, Lisa H. Butterfield, Olivera J. Finn, John Goldberg, Francesco Perrone, Ryan J. Sullivan, Bernard A. Fox, Patrick Hwu and Igor Puzanov

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:144

    Content type: Meeting report

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  16. Tumor invasiveness reflects many biological changes associated with tumorigenesis, progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. Therefore, we performed a systematic assessment of invasiveness-related molecula...

    Authors: Guoshu Bi, Jiaqi Liang, Yuansheng Zheng, Runmei Li, Mengnan Zhao, Yiwei Huang, Cheng Zhan, Songtao Xu and Hong Fan

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:124

    Content type: Research

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  17. Glioma, the most common primary brain tumor, account Preparing figures for 30 to 40% of all intracranial tumors. Herein, we aimed to study the effects of M2 macrophage-derived exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) on gl...

    Authors: Jie Yao, Zefen Wang, Yong Cheng, Chao Ma, Yahua Zhong, Yilei Xiao, Xu Gao and Zhiqiang Li

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:99

    Content type: Research

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    The Correction to this article has been published in Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:263

  18. Adult granulosa cell tumor (aGCT) is a rare type of stromal cell malignant cancer of the ovary characterized by elevated estrogen levels. aGCTs ubiquitously harbor a somatic mutation in FOXL2 gene, Cys134Trp (c.4...

    Authors: Christian Secchi, Paola Benaglio, Francesca Mulas, Martina Belli, Dwayne Stupack and Shunichi Shimasaki

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:90

    Content type: Research

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  19. Tumor mutation burden (TMB) has been associated with melanoma immunotherapy (IT) outcomes, including survival. We explored whether combining TMB with immunogenomic signatures recently identified by The Cancer ...

    Authors: Leah Morales, Danny Simpson, Robert Ferguson, John Cadley, Eduardo Esteva, Kelsey Monson, Vylyny Chat, Carlos Martinez, Jeffrey Weber, Iman Osman and Tomas Kirchhoff

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:78

    Content type: Research

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  20. One of the most prevalent causes of fetal hypoxia leading to stillbirth is placental insufficiency. Hemodynamic changes evaluated with Doppler ultrasound have been used as a surrogate marker of fetal hypoxia. ...

    Authors: Laura Pla, Sergio Berdún, Mònica Mir, Lourders Rivas, Sandrine Miserere, Samuel Dulay, Josep Samitier, Elisenda Eixarch, Miriam Illa and Eduard Gratacós

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:53

    Content type: Research

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    The Letter to the Editor to this article has been published in Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:252

  21. Current diagnostic blood tests for prostate cancer (PCa) are unreliable for the early stage disease, resulting in numerous unnecessary prostate biopsies in men with benign disease and false reassurance of nega...

    Authors: Heba Alshaker, Robert Mills, Ewan Hunter, Matthew Salter, Aroul Ramadass, Benjamin Matthew Skinner, Willem Westra, Jayne Green, Alexandre Akoulitchev, Mathias Winkler and Dmitri Pchejetski

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:46

    Content type: Research

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  22. KRAS gene is the most common type of mutation reported in colorectal cancer (CRC). KRAS mutation-mediated regulation of immunophenotype and immune pathways in CRC remains to be elucidated.

    Authors: Jungang Liu, Xiaoliang Huang, Haizhou Liu, Chunyin Wei, Haiming Ru, Haiquan Qin, Hao Lai, Yongsheng Meng, Guo Wu, Weishun Xie, Xianwei Mo, Caroline H. Johnson, Yawei Zhang and Weizhong Tang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:27

    Content type: Research

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  23. Metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is a complex and life-threatening disease and although it is difficult to cure, patients can benefit from sequential anticancer treatment, including endocrine therapy, targeted t...

    Authors: Seongyeong Kim, Dongjin Shin, Ahrum Min, Minjung Kim, Deukchae Na, Han-Byeol Lee, Han Suk Ryu, Yaewon Yang, Go-Un Woo, Kyung-Hun Lee, Dae-Won Lee, Tae-Yong Kim, Charles Lee, Seock-Ah Im and Jong-Il Kim

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2021 19:7

    Content type: Research

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  24. Mammary carcinogenesis is partly regulated by the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) signaling pathway. Its function in cancer progression and metastasis is highly dependent on disease stage, and it is lik...

    Authors: Lovorka Grgurevic, Ruder Novak, Vladimir Trkulja, Stela Hrkac, Grgur Salai, Josko Bilandzic, Lejla Ferhatovic Hamzic, Ivan Milas, Tiha Vucemilo, Melita Peric Balja and Karmen Bilic

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:478

    Content type: Research

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  25. Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is an effective inducer of pro-inflammatory cytokines regulating innate and adaptive immunity. Inflammation could be a double-edged sword, promoting or inhibiting tumour growth. To date,...

    Authors: Wenxiu Wang, Jun Wu, Mei Ji and Changping Wu

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:477

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  26. The outcomes of immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients with liver metastases are poor, which may be related to a different tumor microenvironment in liver metastases from primary tumors. This study wa...

    Authors: Xiao-Li Wei, Xuan Luo, Hui Sheng, Yun Wang, Dong-Liang Chen, Jia-Ning Li, Feng-Hua Wang and Rui-Hua Xu

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:475

    Content type: Research

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  27. The solid tumor microenvironment possesses a hypoxic condition, which promotes aggressiveness and resistance to therapies. Hypoxic tumor cells undergo broadly metabolic and molecular adaptations and communicat...

    Authors: Reza Jafari, Reza Rahbarghazi, Mahdi Ahmadi, Mehdi Hassanpour and Jafar Rezaie

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:474

    Content type: Review

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  28. Heparanase is the only mammalian enzyme that cleaves heparan sulphate, an important component of the extracellular matrix. This leads to the remodelling of the extracellular matrix, whilst liberating growth fa...

    Authors: Krishnath M. Jayatilleke and Mark D. Hulett

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:453

    Content type: Review

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  29. The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a critical player in tumor progression, metastasis and therapy outcomes. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a well-recognized core element of the TME and generally char...

    Authors: Ilseon Hwang, Jeong Won Kim, Kris Ylaya, Eun Joo Chung, Haruhisa Kitano, Candice Perry, Jun Hanaoka, Junya Fukuoka, Joon-Yong Chung and Stephen M. Hewitt

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:443

    Content type: Research

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  30. Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease, this poses challenges for classification and management. Long non-coding RNAs play acrucial role in the breast cancersdevelopment and progression, especially in...

    Authors: Wei Ma, Fangkun Zhao, Xinmiao Yu, Shu Guan, Huandan Suo, Zuo Tao, Yue Qiu, Yunfei Wu, Yu Cao and Feng Jin

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:442

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  31. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPis) specifically target homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) cells and display good therapeutic effect in women with advanced-stage BRCA1/2-mutated breast and e...

    Authors: Razan Sheta, Magdalena Bachvarova, Marie Plante, Marie-Claude Renaud, Alexandra Sebastianelli, Jean Gregoire, Jamilet Miranda Navarro, Ricardo Bringas Perez, Jean-Yves Masson and Dimcho Bachvarov

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:439

    Content type: Research

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  32. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that immune-related lncRNAs (IRLs) are commonly aberrantly expressed in breast cancer (BC). Thus, we aimed to establish an IRL-based tool to improve prognosis prediction ...

    Authors: Jianguo Lai, Bo Chen, Guochun Zhang, Xuerui Li, Hsiaopei Mok and Ning Liao

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:416

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  33. Cancer Associated Macrophage-Like cells (CAMLs) are polynucleated circulating stromal cells found in the bloodstream of numerous solid-tumor malignancies. Variations within CAML size have been associated with ...

    Authors: Daniel J. Gironda, Daniel L. Adams, Jianzhong He, Ting Xu, Hui Gao, Yawei Qiao, Ritsuko Komaki, James M. Reuben, Zhongxing Liao, Mariela Blum-Murphy, Wayne L. Hofstetter, Cha-Mei Tang and Steven H. Lin

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:413

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  34. Methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) is a member of the m6A methyltransferase family and acts as an oncogene in cancers. Recent studies suggest that host innate immunity is regulated by the enzymes controlling m6A e...

    Authors: Huan-he Ni, Lin Zhang, He Huang, Shu-qin Dai and Jiang Li

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:393

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  35. The non-classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G is a strong immunomodulatory molecule. Under physiological conditions, HLA-G induces immunological tolerance in immune privileged tissues, while under pathophy...

    Authors: Michael Friedrich, Christine Stoehr, Simon Jasinski-Bergner, Arndt Hartmann, Sven Wach, Bernd Wullich, André Steven and Barbara Seliger

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:371

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  36. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are crucial to the malignant behaviour and poor prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In recent years, CSC biology has been widely studied, but practical prognostic sig...

    Authors: Zengyu Feng, Minmin Shi, Kexian Li, Yang Ma, Lingxi Jiang, Hao Chen and Chenghong Peng

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:360

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  37. Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal disease among female genital malignant tumors. Peptidylarginine deiminase type II(PADI II) has been shown to enhance a variety of cancers carcinogenesis, incl...

    Authors: Lidong Liu, Zhiwei Zhang, Guoxiang Zhang, Ting Wang, Yingchun Ma and Wei Guo

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:357

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  38. Distal cholangiocarcinoma is an aggressive malignancy with a dismal prognosis. Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for distal cholangiocarcinoma are lacking. The aim of the present study was to identify diffe...

    Authors: Johannes Byrling, Theresa Kristl, Dingyuan Hu, Indira Pla, Aniel Sanchez, Agata Sasor, Roland Andersson, György Marko-Varga and Bodil Andersson

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:343

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  39. Hypoxia plays an indispensable role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, there are few studies on the application of hypoxia molecules in the prognosis predicting of HCC. We aim to id...

    Authors: Baohui Zhang, Bufu Tang, Jianyao Gao, Jiatong Li, Lingming Kong and Ling Qin

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:342

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  40. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive neoplasm of the pleura, mainly related to asbestos exposure. As in other solid tumors, malignant cells exhibit high glucose uptake and glycolytic rates wit...

    Authors: Irene Dell’Anno, Elisa Barone, Luciano Mutti, Doris M. Rassl, Stefan J. Marciniak, Roberto Silvestri, Stefano Landi and Federica Gemignani

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:341

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  41. Duodenal adenocarcinoma (DA) is a rare yet aggressive malignancy, with increasing incidence in the last decades. Its low frequency has hampered a thorough understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and o...

    Authors: G. Donisi, G. Capretti, N. Cortese, A. Rigamonti, F. Gavazzi, G. Nappo, A. Pulvirenti, M. Sollai, P. Spaggiari, A. Zerbi and F. Marchesi

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:340

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  42. Immune-related genes (IRGs) have been confirmed to have an important role in tumorigenesis and tumor microenvironment formation. Nevertheless, a systematic analysis of IRGs and their clinical significance in s...

    Authors: Chuan Hu, Bo Chen, Zhangheng Huang, Chuan Liu, Lin Ye, Cailin Wang, Yuexin Tong, Jiaxin Yang and Chengliang Zhao

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:337

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  43. African American women experience a twofold higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than women of other ethnicities. However, the molecular ba...

    Authors: Xuan Yang, Mohamed Amgad, Lee A. D. Cooper, Yuhong Du, Haian Fu and Andrey A. Ivanov

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:334

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  44. Recently, it has been reported that miRNA is involved in pterygium, however the exact underlying mechanism in pterygium is unrevealed and require further investigation.

    Authors: Siying He, Yifang Huang, Shiqi Dong, Chen Qiao, Guohua Yang, Shuai Zhang, Chen Wang, Yuting Xu, Fang Zheng and Ming Yan

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:332

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  45. Colon cancer is a disease with high malignancy and incidence in the world. Tumor immune microenvironment (TIM) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) have been proved to play crucial roles in predicting clinical ou...

    Authors: Xinyi Wang, Jinzhong Duanmu, Xiaorui Fu, Taiyuan Li and Qunguang Jiang

    Citation: Journal of Translational Medicine 2020 18:324

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

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