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Instructions to authors (updated September 2015)

The Japanese language guide for authors is available here


Professor J.-C. Soria, Institut Gustave Roussy, Chairman of Drug Development Department, 39 rue Camille Desmoulins, Villejuif 94805, France

Aims and scope

Annals of Oncology publishes manuscripts that describe new findings of particular significance in any area related to clinical oncology and clinically oriented basic cancer research. The criteria for acceptance are originality and high scientific quality. Manuscripts should be submitted with a letter specifying that the report is not under consideration for publication elsewhere and that all named authors have agreed to its submission. Papers reporting clinical studies should, where appropriate, contain a statement that they have been carried out with ethics committee approval. Papers disregarding the welfare of experimental animals will be rejected. Studies should be carried out in accordance with the relevant national and local guidelines.

If you plan to submit a manuscript to Annals of Oncology please read the editorials Annals of Oncology: an editorial perspective (Ann Oncol 2014; 25: 5-6) by J.-C. Soria and Annals of Oncology: a statement of editorial intent (Ann Oncol 2012; 23: 1931-1932) by J. B. Vermorken, which describes in some detail the kinds of manuscripts the journal will, and will not, now consider for publication.

The editorial office will rapidly review the manuscripts in order that new findings may appear with minimum delay. The editorial office will return to authors within 3 weeks, whenever possible, all papers that are found to be of insufficient priority for further consideration. Papers of high interest will be sent out for external review. Authors will normally be notified of acceptance, rejection, or need for revision within 6 weeks of submission. Contributors will be provided with an electronic pdf proof via e-mail and corrections must be returned within three working days of receipt of the proof, by email or fax to +44-(0)1865-355-739. If this deadline is not met, the editorial office may take over the responsibility of proofreading.


When reporting experiments on human subjects, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) or with the Helsinki Declaration (1964, amended in 1975, 1983, 1989, 1996 and 2000) of the World Medical Association. Do not use patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in any illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution’s or the National Research Council’s guide for, or any national law on, the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Manuscript presentation

The journal’s language is English. British English or American English spelling and terminology may be used, but either one should be followed consistently throughout the article. Number the pages consecutively with the first page containing the following headings:

  • article type
  • title
  • author(s) list: first name(s) written with initials only, and followed by the last name - e.g. J. E. Smith

    There is no restriction on the number of authors; manuscripts
    can have as many authors as needed
  • affiliation(s) list: the affiliation list should be written as follows: Department/Division Name (in English), Affiliation/Institution, City, Country
  • full address for correspondence
    • Only one Corresponding Author should be designated, multiple names are not permitted.
    • For Original Article and Review:
      this should be written as follows: title of corresponding author (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr/Prof ) without academic title (MD, PhD, etc.), author name (written with first name, middle initial, then last name) Department/Division/Unit Name (in English),
      Affiliation/Institution, street address, city, postal code, country, country code and telephone number, email address
    • For Editorial and Letter to the Editor:
      Corresponding Author e-mail address in brackets, e.g. (*E-mail:……….@…..)

Please provide a short summary of 300 words or less. The summary should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references. Summaries should be organized and formatted according to the following headings: (1) Background, (2) Patients and methods, (3) Results and (4) Conclusion(s). Authors may substitute 'Design' or 'Materials and methods' for 'Patients and methods' in summaries of Review articles or of papers dealing with basic research.

Key words
Please provide a maximum of six key words, suitable for indexing.

Abbreviations should be explained at first occurrence.

Decimal numerals
To enhance readability and clarity of the text as well as tables and figures, decimal numerals should - with the obvious exception of P-values - be rounded to the unit whenever possible (i.e. in all cases in which the rounding procedure does not change the meaning). Value “N” and “P” should always be written in italic.

Manuscript File
Most text formats are acceptable, however Microsoft Word documents (.doc/.docx) are strongly recommended for submission.

xls/ppt/latex/pdf are NOT suitable formats.

File should be saved with a brief name, such as “ms.doc” or “manuscript.doc”; long names can create uploading problems.

Key Message
Please provide a short description, 400 characters maximum including spaces, of the key message of your article. If the article is accepted, this description will be published online as part of the journal’s table of contents.

Article types

Annals of Oncology publishes material in the form of editorials, original articles, letters, reviews and special articles.

Editorials. Editorials are solicited by the editor and are generally related to a paper published in the same issue. Length and format of the editorial will be agreed upon between editor and author.

Original articles. Full articles should generally be no longer than 3500 words, excluding manuscript heading, abstract, acknowledgements, and funding. References will be included in the word count and should not generally exceed 40 in number. Tables and figures are not limited in number but each will count as 150 words towards the total word count of 3500; tables with excessive word counts will have the total words included in the final manuscript word count, however, extended material may be published as Supplementary Material.

In the case of Supplementary Material, please indicate if it can be published online only. Online-only Supplementary Material should be uploaded in separate file(s), and described in the manuscript, in order to allow proper linking.

Figures, tables and references must be prepared according to specific instructions (see below).There is no limit on the number of figures or tables, but please consider that the journal is limited for space and that it may be possible to present some figures and tables as online only Supplementary Data. For further information go to: Supplementary tables or figures should be named and numbered accordingly (S1, S2 etc.) in the manuscript and in the file name.

Similarly, it may be possible to present an extended bibliography for online-only presentation.

When providing word counts please indicate which word processing software and which version you are using.

Pre-submission queries are welcome, but for original articles a direct online submission of the manuscript may get a faster response.

Letters to the editor. Letters to the editor are for correspondence relating to previously published articles, and only then within an appropriate time frame, or interesting practice points, e.g. emerging side-effects of new drugs, rare diseases where there is a real practice issue.

Letters are welcome and will be published if appropriate. They should be no longer than 500 words and a maximum of five references; one table or figure is acceptable if absolutely necessary. No abstract is required.


Meeting reports can only be considered for publication as reviews under exceptional circumstances; in such cases the report should not simply be a report of new data presented but an attempt to synthesise the state of the art in a particular field.

Consensus documents based on the views of ad hoc expert panels are no longer acceptable; the panel must have been convened under the auspices of a widely recognised body or meeting and be identified as such in the title.

The journal places no restriction on the style of review: narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses will all be considered.

Reviews are generally solicited by the editor, but unsolicited contributions will also be considered; pre-submission queries are, however, welcome to avoid clashes.

These manuscripts summarize the state-of-the-art in a particular field. Reviews should generally be no longer than 4000 words, excluding manuscript heading, abstract, references (which are unrestricted in number), acknowledgements, funding, tables and figures. In the case of Supplementary Material, please indicate if it can be published online only. If so, please upload it in separate file(s) (see appendices section). There is no limit on the number of figures or tables, but please consider that the journal is limited for space and that it may be possible to present some figures and tables as online only. Similarly, it may be possible to present an extended bibliography for online-only presentation.

Word counts. Manuscripts that marginally exceed the stated word counts (not more than 10%) will not be automatically rejected on the grounds of length alone, although immediate rejection remains a possibility, if the editors deem it necessary on the grounds of insufficient interest. If an overlong manuscript is submitted to peer review, shortening of the manuscript may be required if the manuscript is returned for revision.

When providing word counts please indicate which word processing software and which version you are using.

Special articles. Special articles are by invitation only.

Case reports. Case reports cannot be considered for publication unless they are a direct response to a previously published article in Annals of Oncology, in which cases they should be submitted as a “Letter to the Editor”.

Clinical trials

Authors reporting clinical trials may find the guidelines given in the report of Simon and Wittes useful. (Simon R, Wittes RE. Methodologic guidelines for reports of clinical trials. Cancer Treat Rep 1985; 69: 1-3.) Particularly critical is the correct application and presentation of survival analyses: useful guidelines can be found in the appendix of the report by D. G. Altman et al. (Altman DG, De Stavola BL, Love SB, Stepniewska KA. Review of survival analyses published in cancer journals. Br J Cancer 1995; 72: 511-518).

The quality of data reporting on randomized clinical trials will be evaluated following the rules and checklist of the CONSORT statement (CONSORT 2010 Statement: Updated Guidelines for Reporting Parallel Group Randomized Trials. Schulz KF, Altman DG, Moher D et al. Ann Intern Med 2010; 152: 1-7); if required, material concerning this statement will be forwarded to the authors. Randomized clinical trials, which have begun after 1 January 1997, must be monitored and carried out in a manner permitting an absolute adherence to the rules of the CONSORT statement, as regards publication of their results. Potentially acceptable manuscripts will be submitted for statistical review. Any registered clinical trial number should be indicated after the abstract.

Phase I trials

Reports of phase I studies can only be considered where there are additional translational research components. In exceptional cases, specifically where a remarkable response rate was observed, translational research is not required. The reporting of response rates for rare tumors is in any case encouraged.

Phase II trials

Reports of phase II studies should be testing novel and innovative ideas and producing data that form the basis for important RCTs, or data that clearly suggest the lack of potential for such RCTs, i.e. there is no objection to negative phase II studies, provided they give clear guidance for future work. Single arm phase II studies with combination schedules that include established drugs, but without additional translational research cannot be considered. Phase II studies should use recognised statistical designs.

Phase III trials

Submission of reports of prospective, randomised phase III studies is encouraged. Fast-track facilities for editorial handling and, potentially, publication (to print) are available subject to agreement via a pre-submission query. Please contact the Editorial office.

Longer-term follow up reports of previously reported phase III trials are welcomed.

Studies of “prognostic” markers of no real future clinical utility and single biomarkers studies cannot be considered. These studies should be prospective and have a clear view of the practical clinical applications of the results. Retrospective analysis of biomarkers will be considered if done within the framework of data collected from a prospective trial, with appropriate statistics and with multivariate analysis that includes established predictive/prognostic markers.

Reports of tumor registry studies need to have clear clinical relevance; pre submission queries are encouraged.

The journal is committed to translational research for the development of oncology, including basic, i.e. wholly preclinical, cancer research where clinical potential is clear.

Figures and tables

For preparation of figures for online submission and peer review please use the submission instructions web site. Supplementary Table & Figures, must be uploaded as separate files and numbered accordingly (S1, S2 etc.) in the manuscript.

Submission of tables
Tables should be provided in editable format as separate Word/text documents. Value “N” and “P” should always be written in italic, throughout tables, figures and manuscript. Please note that PDF is not a permissible format for tables. Footnotes are preferable to long explanatory texts in either the heading or body of the table. Footnotes should be identified by superscript letters and be placed immediately below the table.

Submission of electronic figures
Figures should be saved in the following formats: TIFF/JPEG or EPS. Figures should be saved in separate files without their captions, which should be included with the text of the article. Files should be named in sequence, e.g. ‘fig1.tif ’/‘fig2.tif’/etc. For vector graphics, EPS is the preferred format. Lines should not be thinner than 0.25 pts and in-fill patterns and screens should have a density of at least 10%. Font-related problems can be avoided by using standard fonts such as Times Roman and Helvetica. For bitmapped graphics, TIFF is the preferred format but EPS is also acceptable.

The following resolutions are optimal: black-and-white line figures, 600-1200 dpi; line figures with some grey or coloured lines, 600 dpi; photographs, 300 dpi; screen dumps, leave as is. Higher resolutions will not improve output quality but will only increase file size, which may cause problems with printing; lower resolutions (<300 dpi) may compromise output quality. Please try to provide artwork that approximately fits within the typeset area of the journal. Especially screened originals, i.e. originals with grey areas, may suffer badly from reduction by more than 10-15%.

Each figure and table should be numbered and mentioned in the text accompanied by an explanatory legend. The figure legends should be grouped and placed on a separate page. All Figures will be relabelled and coloured to the journal-specific standard colour palette. In addition, a small number of Figures in Reviews will be redrawn by a medical illustrator. The Figures will be published in colour in the online version for no charge. Authors will be charged for reproducing figures in colour in the print version, with the exception of Reviews. During the online submission authors will be asked to agree any necessary colour figure payments, and this will be checked at proof stage. Reviews will be printed in colour for no charge.

In tables, footnotes are preferable to long explanatory material in either the heading or body of the table. Such explanatory footnotes, identified by superscript letters, should be placed immediately below the table.

Section headings

First-, second-, third- and fourth-order headings should be clearly distinguishable but not numbered. Generally, an original article should be structured as follows: introduction; methods-patients and methods-materials and methods-etc; results; discussion (conclusion may be used as a subheading in the discussion); acknowledgements; funding; disclosure; references.


Supplementary material, such as a long list of collaborators who cooperated/contributed in the study, should be collected in an Appendix and placed after the Reference section. Material can alternatively be published online-only as Supplementary Data. If, however, co-authors listed in an appendix to the main article should appear as co-authors in Medline, please make sure that the appendix of names is included at the end of the main manuscript file, rather than as a supplementary file. Names published as Supplementary Material cannot be tagged as co-authors and will not appear in Medline.


In the text, a reference identified by means of an author's name should be followed by the reference number in square brackets. When there are more than two authors, only the first author's name should be mentioned, followed by et al.

Winograd [1]
Bullen and Bennett [2]
Wilson et al. [3]


Acknowledgements of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the References.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear after the 'Acknowledgements' section.

The following rules should be followed.

    • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …
    • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply ‘National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI’ (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or ‘NCI at NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies). Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number xxxx]’
    • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]’
    • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency) or grant number 'to [author initials]'.
    • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].’

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See Depositing articles in repositories – information for authors for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.


Any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition – should be disclosed. For further information see FAQ.

If there are none, the disclosure should say: ‘The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.’

If one or a few authors have a conflict to disclose, further to that statement, there should be an additional statement for those remaining authors who do not have any, e.g. ‘All remaining authors have declared no conflicts of interest.’


References to books, journal articles, articles in collections and conference or workshop proceedings, and technical reports should be listed at the end of the article in numbered order following the Index Medicus style (see examples below). References to abstracts and Letters to the editor must be identified as such. List all authors if four or fewer; if five or more, list only the first three, followed by et al. Articles in preparation or articles submitted for publication, unpublished observations, personal communications, etc. should not be included in the reference list but should only be mentioned in the article text (e.g. T. Moore, personal communication).

References to books should include the author's name; year of publication; title; page numbers where appropriate; publisher; place of publication, in the order given in the example below.

  1. Pecorino L. Molecular Biology of Cancer Mechanisms,
    Targets, and Therapeutics, 3rd edition: Oxford University
    Press, Oxford, 2012.

References to articles in an edited collection should include the author's name; year of publication; article title; editor's name; title of collection; first and last page numbers; publisher; place of publication, in the order given in the example below.

  1. Brennan MF, Alektiar KM, Maki RG. Soft tissue sarcoma. In DeVita VT Jr, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA (eds): Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 6th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2001; 1841-1980.

References to articles in periodicals should include the author's name; year of publication; article title; full abbreviated title of periodical; volume number (issue number where appropriate); first and last page numbers, in the order given in the example below.

  1. Selle F, Sevin E, Ray-Coquard I et al. A phase II study of
    lenalidomide in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian
    carcinoma. Ann Oncol 2014; 25: 2191-2196.

If an article has been published online but has not yet been given issue or page numbers please use the Digital Object Identifier (doi) number when referencing the article as in the example below.

  1. Inoue A, Kobayashi K, Maemondo M et al. Updated overall survival results from a randomized phase III trial comparing gefitinib with carboplatin–paclitaxel for chemo-naïve non-small cell lung cancer with sensitive EGFR gene mutations (NEJ002) Ann Oncol 2012. September 11 [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1093/annonc/mds214


If your manuscript is accepted for publication, the unedited manuscript will be published online within 4-6 days of acceptance. Once proofs of the final article are prepared, a link to the proofs on our online system will be sent to the corresponding author via e-mail. The corrected proof should be uploaded to the system, within three days of receipt.


Free URLs will be provided for all articles. Corresponding authors may purchase offprints using the Oxford Journals Author Services site.

Page charges and colour figures

No page charges are levied on authors or their institutions. Colour figures are published at the author’s expense only, except for Reviews, which are published in colour free of charge. Colour figure charges are £350/€525/$600 per figure.


Copyright of any article published in Annals of Oncology will belong to the author or their designee. However, it is a condition of publication in the journal that authors grant an exclusive licence to publish to ESMO. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and allows the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. As part of the licence agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the Journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication and ESMO as the licensee.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.


In order to reproduce any third party material, including figures or tables, in an article authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder and be compliant with any requirements the copyright holder may have pertaining to this reuse.

When seeking to reproduce any kind of third party material authors should request the following:

(i) non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material in the specified article and journal;
(ii) electronic rights, preferably for use in any form or medium;
(iii) the right to use the material for the life of the work; and
(iv) world-wide English-language rights.

Further guidelines on clearing permissions can be found at:

Authors should also include a statement indicating that permission has been obtained in the relevant legend/footnote and provide the Editorial Office with copies of any relevant paperwork.

A template permissions request letter can be found at the end of the above document.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers

If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


Opinions expressed in articles, reviews and letters in Annals of Oncology are the views of the authors and contributors and not those of ESMO, JSMO, the publishers or the editorial board.

The authors, editors and publishers do everything possible to ensure the accuracy of drug names and doses but cannot accept liability for damages arising from any errors or omissions in the journal.


Classified advertising without cost is available to ESMO members for those recruiting personnel or announcing positions sought, fellowships, practices for sale, meetings and academic posts to be filled. For information regarding advertising, the placement of announcements of meetings or other messages from non-ESMO members contact

Oxford Journals
Oxford University Press
Great Clarendon Street
Oxford OX2 6DP






Author Self-Archiving/Public Access policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.


Oxford Open Option for Authors

Annals of Oncology authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

If you choose the Open Access option you can pay the charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. Open access charges are £1700/$3000/€2550; discounted rates are available for authors based in some developing countries (for a list of qualifying countries see Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Preparing your manuscript and submitting online

New Feature: Submitting Agent can submit a manuscript on behalf of the authors (see below).

1. Follow the manuscript preparation instructions carefully. Failure to follow these instructions may lead to a delay in the publication of your manuscript.

2. First, you will need to log into the online submission web site.

If you know your login details (i.e., you have submitted or reviewed a manuscript in this journal before), use your User ID and Password to log on.

If you do not know your login details, check to see if you are already registered by clicking on the ‘Forgot your password’ button and following the on-screen instructions. If you are not already registered, you can register by clicking on the ‘Create account’ button on the login screen and following the on-screen instructions.

If you have trouble finding your manuscripts or have other problems with your account, do not create another account. Instead, please contact the journal’s editorial office.

To submit a new manuscript, go to the ‘Author Centre’, and click on “Click here to submit a new manuscript’, and then follow the on-screen instructions. There are up to 7 steps for you to follow to submit your manuscript. “Author or Submitting Agent” option can be selected under step 1. You move from one step to the next by clicking on the ‘Next’ button on each screen or back to the previous screen by clicking on the ‘Previous’ button. Please note that if you click on the ‘Back’ or ‘Forward’ buttons on your browser, the information you have entered will not be saved. At any stage you can stop the submission process by clicking on the ‘Main Menu’ button. Everything you have typed into the system will be saved, and the partially completed submission will appear under ‘unsubmitted manuscripts’ in your ‘Author Centre’. To return to the submission process you will need to click on the button ‘Continue Submission’ against the relevant manuscript title.

Preparing your revised manuscript

For any online support, you can access the Author Support Portal at

In the decision letter to revise your manuscript you will find requests made by the Associate Editor, Editorial Office and Referee(s). All these requests are mandatory, and should be carefully implemented in the revised manuscript and detailed in the Covering Letter. If properly implemented, editorial processes will be facilitated.

Requests about the status of your manuscript

Once a manuscript is submitted, you can follow manuscript developments from your online account, at the Annals of Oncology online submission website In particular questions about the status of your manuscript should be addressed to the Editorial Office at or Please include your manuscript number (this number was sent to you upon receipt of your manuscript). However, considering the processes are confidential, the Editorial Office can rarely provide more details than those available in the author account; queries not from the author will not be answered.

Additional information can be obtained from:

Annals of Oncology
Via Luigi Taddei 4
CH-6962 Viganello-Lugano


+41 (0)91-973-1908/10