Nerve growth stimulates prostate cancer

The growth of new nerves in and around prostate cancers spurs tumours to grow and invade other tissues, studies in mice have shown.The results, published today in Science, could steer researchers towards novel approaches to treating cancer. Although it is not yet clear whether the mechanism occurs in humans — or in cancers affecting other organs — an analysis of samples from 43 patients with prostate cancer found that nerve density was high in patients who fared poorly in the clinic.

Prostate cancer cells (seen in coloured scanning electron micrograph). Inhibiting the growth of nerve fibres has been shown to slow down the spread of this type of cancer, at least in mice.

GOPAL MURTI/SPL

via Nerve growth stimulates prostate cancer : Nature News & Comment.

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