Nerves in cancer

Ali H. Zahalka, Paul S. Frenette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


The contribution of nerves to the pathogenesis of malignancies has emerged as an important component of the tumour microenvironment. Recent studies have shown that peripheral nerves (sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensory) interact with tumour and stromal cells to promote the initiation and progression of a variety of solid and haematological malignancies. Furthermore, new evidence suggests that cancers may reactivate nerve-dependent developmental and regenerative processes to promote their growth and survival. Here we review emerging concepts and discuss the therapeutic implications of manipulating nerves and neural signalling for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-157
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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