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Trends Neurosci. 2016 Dec;39(12):880-889. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2016.10.002. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Can Stopping Nerves, Stop Cancer?

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh, Center for Pain Research and Department of Neurobiology, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. Electronic address: jls354@pitt.edu.
2
University of Pittsburgh, Center for Pain Research and Department of Neurobiology, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
3
Zayed Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

The nervous system is viewed as a tissue affected by cancer and as a conduit for the transmission of cancer pain and perineural invasion. Here, we review recent studies that indicate a more direct role. Several studies have shown that reducing stress or suppressing sympathetic drive correlates with improved outcomes and prolonged survival. Recent studies using animal models of visceral and somatic cancer further support a role for the nervous system in cancer progression. Specifically, nerve ablation had a profound impact on disease progression, including delayed development of precancerous lesions, and decreased tumor growth and metastasis. In this review, we summarize new evidence and discuss how future studies may address the role of neural signaling in the modulation of tumorigenesis.

KEYWORDS:

autonomic; peripheral nervous system; sensory neurons; tumorigenesis

PMID:
27832915
PMCID:
PMC5148708
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2016.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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