Mechanisms of cancer dissemination along nerves

Moran Amit, Shorook Na'Ara, Ziv Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 25 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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