Mechanisms of Perineural Invasion

Perineural invasion (PNI) is the neoplastic invasion of nerves. PNI is widely recognized as an important adverse pathological feature of many malignancies, including pancreatic, prostate, and head and neck cancers and is associated with a poor prognosis.

Despite widespread acknowledgment of the clinical significance of PNI, the mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis remain largely unknown. Recent theories of PNI pathogenesis have placed a significant emphasis on the active role of the nerve microenvironment, with PNI resulting from well-orchestrated reciprocal interactions between cancer and host. Elucidating the mechanisms involved in PNI may translate into targeted therapies for this ominous process.

Journal of neurological surgery. Part B, Skull base. 2016 Mar 10 [Epub]

Richard L Bakst, Richard J Wong

Department of Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, United States., Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States.