Autophagy is a lysosomal-driven catabolic process devoted to macromolecular turnover and intracellular homeostasis by recycling cytoplasmic constituents to sustain cell metabolism. De-regulation of autophagy has been recognized as one of the main metabolic features of cancer cells subjected to changes in the tumor microenvironment in terms of nutrients, oxygen, growth factors, cytokines and non-coding RNAs. Autophagy plays a dual role in carcinogenesis: it can contribute to carcinogenesis by sustaining the metabolic demands of cancer cells or by protecting them from harsh conditions and DNA damage, while hyper-induction of autophagy may lead to autophagic cell death, an alternative pathway to apoptosis that could be exploited for overcoming chemoresistance.
In this Special Issue, we welcome submissions of original research and review articles highlighting the functional role of autophagy in preventing and mitigating cancer. Particular emphasis will be on the biochemical/epigenetic/cellular mechanisms of autophagy modulation and to evaluate its interplay with the chemoresponse which crucially influences the success of anti-cancer therapies.