Tumour innervation and neurosignalling in prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer progression has been shown to be dependent on the development of autonomic nerves into the tumour microenvironment. Sympathetic nerves activate adrenergic neurosignalling that is necessary in early stages of tumour progression and for initiating an angiogenic switch, whereas parasympathetic nerves activate cholinergic neurosignalling resulting in tumour dissemination and metastasis. The innervation of prostate cancer seems to be initiated by neurotrophic growth factors, such as the precursor to nerve growth factor secreted by tumour cells, and the contribution of brain-derived neural progenitor cells has also been reported. Current experimental, epidemiological and clinical evidence shows the stimulatory effect of tumour innervation and neurosignalling in prostate cancer. Using nerves and neurosignalling could have value in the management of prostate cancer by predicting aggressive disease, treating localized disease through denervation and relieving cancer-associated pain in bone metastases.

Nature reviews. Urology. 2020 Jan 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Brayden March, Sam Faulkner, Phillip Jobling, Allison Steigler, Alison Blatt, Jim Denham, Hubert Hondermarck

School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia., Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New Lambton, NSW, Australia., Department of Surgery, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia., Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New Lambton, NSW, Australia. .