4th Anniversary Editor's Choice Articles

To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Nature Partner Journals, our editors have chosen a selection of articles that showcase our cutting-edge open access content in a variety of fields.

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To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Nature Partner Journals, our editors have chosen a selection of articles that showcase our cutting-edge open access content in a variety of fields: go.nature.com/2kBGhaP


For npj Precision Oncology, our Editors in Chief chose 2 prominent articles: 

Label-free isolation of prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic technology

A microfluidic device can rapidly and efficiently isolate circulating tumor cells from the blood of prostate cancer patients. Elodie Sollier-Christen of Vortex Biosciences, Rajan Kulkarni of David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dino Di Carlo of UCLA and colleagues tested the company’s microfluidic technology on blood samples taken from 21 men with advanced prostate cancer and 10 healthy controls. They showed that, within an hour, the Vortex Chip could isolate circulating tumor cells in 80% of the cancer patients and that many of these cells did not display the usual surface markers that other approaches require to capture prostate cancer cells. The purities and DNA yields of the isolated cells were high enough to enable targeted genome sequencing, which revealed mutations potentially involved in tumor formation. The Vortex technology could help diagnose prostate cancer and inform therapeutic decision-making for those with the disease. 


Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism

Combinations of two molecules found naturally in edible plants synergistically help reduce tumor growth in a mouse model of prostate cancer. Stefano Tiziani and John DiGiovanni from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues screened a library of 142 natural compounds for the effects of each molecule, alone or in combination, on the viability of cells from mouse and human prostate cancer cell lines. Amongst other promising combinations, the researchers identified ursolic acid and curcumin as the most promising combination for inhibiting tumor growth. (These compounds are found naturally in apple peels and turmeric, respectively.) In mice with implanted prostate tumors, the two compounds synergistically reduced tumor volume and weight, while in cell culture the researchers showed that the compound-combination strategy modulated metabolism of a critical amino acid and other cell signaling pathways.

Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Consulting Editor, Springer Nature

I'm an interdisciplinary neuroscientist with a research background in peripheral sensory/pain research, retinoblastoma, retinal development, and stem cell research. As a Consulting Editor for Communications Biology, I primarily handle their neuroscience-relevant content. I also attend conferences and meetings to develop a relationship with our readers, authors, and editors. If you see me at a conference, feel free to introduce yourself.