The Most Cited Articles on Cancer Immunotherapy: An Update Study

J BUON. Mar-Apr 2020;25(2):1178-1192.


Purpose: The purpose of this bibliometric study was to point out the emergence and development of immunotherapy in cancer treatment and shifting tendencies on this field in the last years. We aimed to create an ease of access for the researchers of this dynamic field.

Methods: Cancer immunotherapy as a search term was queried into Thomson Reuter's Web of Science database of 2019 to list all the articles about this term. The top 100 cited articles were analyzed by topic, journal, author, year, institution, level of evidence, adjusted citation index and also the correlations between citation, adjusted citation index, impact factor and length of time since publication.

Results: 46,606 eligible articles were found and we had chosen the top 100 cited in the cancer immunotherapy field by bibliometric criteria. The mean citation number for the highly cited articles was 1027794 (range:446-5746). The most cited article on cancer immunotherapy was a phase 1 clinical trial about immune check-point inhibitor (5,271 citations) conducted by Topalian et al. The Science, AAAS journal made the biggest contribution to the top 100 list with 14 articles, whereas the most cited article originated from the New England Journal of Medicine. The country and year with most publications were the USA (n=93) and 2012 (n=10) respectively. National Institutes of Health (n=30) and National Cancer Institute (n=30) were the most prolific institutions.

Conclusion: Cancer immunotherapy is a rapidly developing and changing subspecialty in the realm of oncology. Despite some flaws, this trend topic study has identified the most significant contributions to cancer immunotherapy research over the years and it has revealed many important scientific breakthroughs and landmarks that had took place during this time.