Oral Presentation 14th International Biennial Conference on Metastasis Research 2012

Neural regulation of metastasis: New avenues for therapeutic intervention (#19)

Caroline P Le 1 , Matthew A Pimentel 1 , Ming G Chai 1 , Corina Kim-Fuchs 1 , Donald Lamkin 2 , Steven W Cole 2 , Erica K Sloan 1
  1. Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  2. Cousins Center for PNI, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Recent clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated that the neuroendocrine system regulates cancer development and progression. Using advanced in vivo imaging technologies we found that chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system accelerates breast cancer metastasis to distant tissues. Increased metastasis was dependent on beta-adrenergic signaling which induced macrophage recruitment to primary tumors and induced a switch to pro-metastatic and pro-inflammatory gene expression. Our recent studies in orthotopic xenograft models of pancreatic cancer and leukemia showed that activation of neural stress-response pathways similarly accelerated progression, suggesting that adrenergic signaling may be a general physiological regulator of cancer progression. These findings raise the possibility that beta-blockade of neural stress response pathways may be a novel therapeutic strategy to slow or prevent metastasis. In addition, we will discuss findings that targeting peripheral nerve fibers may provide therapeutic leverage against metastasis.