Similar to their pivotal roles in nervous system development, neurons have emerged as critical regulators of cancer initiation, maintenance, and progression. Focusing on nervous system tumors, we describe the normal relationships between neurons and other cell types relevant to normal nerve function, and discuss how disruptions of these interactions promote tumor evolution, focusing on electrical (gap junctions) and chemical (synaptic) coupling, as well as the establishment of new paracrine relationships. We also review how neuron–tumor communication contributes to some of the complications of cancer, including neuropathy, chemobrain, seizures, and pain. Finally, we consider the implications of cancer neuroscience in establishing risk for tumor penetrance and in the design of future anti-tumoral treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 23 2023


  • T cells
  • brain tumors
  • glioma
  • microglia
  • nerves
  • neuronal activity
  • neurotransmitter
  • synapse


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurons as stromal drivers of nervous system cancer formation and progression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this