Scientists demonstrate how neuroinflammation contributes to cancer growth

Neuroinflammation is a key player in how cancer cells progress and wreak havoc upon the body. Today scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden prove it by showing that neuroinflammation contributes to the growth and metastasis of cancer in a completely new way. The study results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Cancer cells suffer from two problems: One is that they develop resistance to treatment. The other is that they are often able to escape the normal therapies that have worked for the last three decades to kill the tumor cells.

A major difficulty for the treatment against cancer occurs when the cancer cells escape from one or the other treatment method. In such a case the treatment is too aggressive and the tumor cells become resistant. Thats exactly what happens in neuroendocrine (cancer) patients. The cell types that make up the nervous system displayed their capacity to cut off the ability of hard-to-treat cancer cells enabling them to develop resistance

There are different experimental approaches to blocking the cancer cell escape pathway but insufficient to completely eliminate the tumor cells.

In order to overcome that problem we have now tested a compound in which the inhibitory effect is reduced and the survival time increased. In this way we therefore succeeded in showing that it may be possible to develop a completely new approach to treatment of neuroendocrine cancers one that will be applicable to a common subtype of neuroendocrine cancer.

Martin Hallbeck professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Karolinska Institutet one of the principal investigators.