Nature Cancer: Covering the breadth of cancer research

Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou Chief Editor Nature CancerPrior to launching Nature Cancer in January 2020, cancer researchers were firmly in the mind of Chief Editor, Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou: “We aimed for Nature Cancer to be a true community journal that serves interdisciplinary researcher cohorts.” In the five months since the inaugural issue, the journal has covered the breadth of cancer research, Alexia adds, “The content we have published so far spans the basic, translational and clinical research spheres, engaging a very wide scientific audience”.

“The breadth of the journal’s scope is showcased by the different types of articles ranking among our most frequently accessed content”, says Alexia. These include work by Nabel and colleagues, reporting a new type of antibody as an immunotherapy agent and demonstrating enhanced anti-tumor efficacy in mice and non-human primates. Another highly-accessed article in translational research is a paper by Golub and coworkers, testing the tumor-cell-killing properties of drugs that were not originally developed for oncology and that could potentially be repurposed for cancer therapy. Alexia further highlights foundational research addressing key aspects of cancer biology; “One of the main challenges in cancer is tackling metastasis and we were pleased to publish a number of papers aiming to understand the metastatic process”. Among them is a paper by Massagué and colleagues, that focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the initiation of colorectal cancer metastasis, and was very positively received by other researchers.

“Beyond publishing the most striking and impactful research in this field, Nature Cancer aims to provide a platform for discussion and the exchange of ideas”, continues Alexia. “To that end, in our March issue we launched a Series of commissioned content on Clinical Cancer Genomics, a field that has really taken off in the past decade and has been changing the way we study cancer in the lab and treat patients in the clinic”. The journal also brings key voices in cancer research directly to its readers, as exemplified by interviews with the leadership of the US National Cancer Institute, Director Dr Norman E. Sharpless and Deputy Director Dr Douglas R. Lowy.

Finishing with a community-focused ethos, Alexia notes, “In the last five months we’ve gone the extra mile to bring the most exciting, high-quality research and cutting-edge discussions to our broad readership and are delighted that the community has embraced the journal so enthusiastically. Looking ahead, we will continue to serve this field by providing a unique multidisciplinary forum that not only reports the latest scientific advances, but also synthesizes and contextualizes distinct findings, approaches and ideas to help tackle the global challenge of cancer in society.”

Take a look at the Q&A with Norman E. ‘Ned’ Sharpless director of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) "Shaping the future of cancer research at NCI".

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