The local extension of cancer cells along nerves is a frequent clinical finding for various tumours. Traditionally, nerve invasion was assumed to occur via the path of least resistance; however, recent animal models and human studies have revealed that cancer cells have an innate ability to actively migrate along axons in a mechanism called neural tracking. The tendency of cancer cells to track along nerves is supported by various cell types in the perineural niche that secrete multiple growth factors and chemokines. We propose that the perineural niche should be considered part of the tumour microenvironment, describe the molecular cues that facilitate neural tracking and suggest methods for its inhibition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research