3 years ago

How Schwann cells facilitate cancer progression in nerves

Sylvie Deborde, Richard J. Wong

Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated a critical role for nerves in enabling tumor progression. The association of nerves with cancer cells is well established for a variety of malignant tumors, including pancreatic, prostate and the head and neck cancers. This association is often correlated with poor prognosis. A strong partnership between cancer cells and nerve cells leads to both cancer progression and expansion of the nerve network. This relationship is supported by molecular pathways related to nerve growth and repair. Peripheral nerves form complex tumor microenvironments, which are made of several cell types including Schwann cells. Recent studies have revealed that Schwann cells enable cancer progression by adopting a de-differentiated phenotype, similar to the Schwann cell response to nerve trauma. A detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of cancer progression by the nerves is essential to design strategies to inhibit tumor progression.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2578-x

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-017-2578-x

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