bims-netuvo Biomed News
on Nerves in tumours of visceral organs
Issue of 2022‒01‒09
five papers selected by
Maksym V. Kopanitsa
The Francis Crick Institute

  1. Cell Metab. 2022 Jan 04. pii: S1550-4131(21)00634-3. [Epub ahead of print]34(1): 7-9
      Diet can influence tumor aggressiveness. Recently in Nature, a study by Pascual et al. provided evidence that dietary palmitic acid induces an epigenetic memory by modulating particular histone methylation marks in cancer cells. This allows cancer cells to activate extracellular matrix secretion from Schwann cells of the tumor microenvironment, which ultimately potentiates metastasis initiation.
  2. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2021 Dec;18 100351
      Cancer represents a novel homeostatic challenge to the host system. How the brain senses and responds to changes in peripheral physiology elicited by tumor growth is a largely untapped area of research. This is especially relevant given the widespread prevalence of systemic problems that people with various types of cancer experience. These include disruptions in sleep/wake cycles, cognitive function, depression, and changes in appetite/food intake, among others. Critically, many of these problems are evident prior to diagnosis, indicating that their etiology is potentially distinct from the effects of cancer treatment or the stress of a cancer diagnosis. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is well equipped to tackle these types of problems, as it uses approaches from multiple disciplines to understand how specific stimuli (endogenous and environmental) are transduced into neural, endocrine, and immune signals that ultimately regulate health and behavior. In this article, I first provide a brief historical perspective of cancer and PNI, introduce the idea of cancer as a systemic homeostatic challenge, and provide examples from preclinical literature supporting this hypothesis. Given the rise of advanced tools in neuroscience (e.g., calcium imaging), we can now monitor and manipulate genetically defined neural circuits over the extended time scales necessary to disentangle distal communication between peripheral tumors and the brain.
    Keywords:  Cancer neuroscience; Homeostasis; Hypocretin/orexin; Sleep
  3. Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Jan 07.
      BACKGROUND: Taiwan has the highest incidence of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) worldwide. Although many pathological factors can predict the prognosis of UTUC, previous studies have rarely discussed perineural invasion (PNI). Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of PNI on a well-established cohort of patients with UTUC.METHODS: This retrospective study included 803 patients with non-metastatic UTUC who underwent radical nephroureterectomy between June 2000 and August 2019. Demographic and clinicopathological parameters, including PNI, were collected for analysis. Using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards model, we evaluated the significance of PNI with respect to progression-free survival (PFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS).
    RESULTS: The median follow-up was 30.9 months, and there were 83 cases of PNI (10.3%). PNI-positive patients had unfavorable pathological features, including high pT stage, positive lymph node involvement, high tumor grade, and more lymphovascular invasion (all p < 0.001). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that PNI was significantly associated with PFS, CSS, and OS (all p < 0.00001), and when combined with lymphovascular invasion, patients could be divided into groups with distinct survival rates (all p < 0.00001). In multivariate analysis, PNI was an independent factor leading to worse PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19-2.50; p = 0.004), CSS (HR 2.54, 95% CI 1.58-4.10; p = 0.0001), and OS (HR 1.78, 95% CI 1.19-2.65; p = 0.005).
    CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated an association between PNI and the prognosis of UTUC. Routine assessment of PNI in UTUC with standardized protocols may help achieve better risk stratification and subject selection for perioperative treatment.
  4. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 738252
      Chronic stress is an emotional experience that occurs when people encounter something they cannot adapt to. Repeated chronic stress increases the risk of a variety of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, endocrine disease, inflammation and cancer. A growing body of research has shown that there is a link between chronic stress and tumor occurrence in both animal studies and clinical studies. Chronic stress activates the neuroendocrine system (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) and sympathetic nervous system. Stress hormones promote the occurrence and development of tumors through various mechanisms. In addition, chronic stress also affects the immune function of the body, leading to the decline of immune monitoring ability and promote the occurrence of tumors. The mechanisms of chronic stress leading to tumor include inflammation, autophagy and epigenetics. These factors increase the proliferation and invasion capacity of tumor cells and alter the tumor microenvironment. Antagonists targeting adrenergic receptors have played a beneficial role in improving antitumor activity, as well as chemotherapy resistance and radiation resistance. Here, we review how these mechanisms contribute to tumor initiation and progression, and discuss whether these molecular mechanisms might be an ideal target to treat tumor.
    Keywords:  cancer; chronic stress; immunology; neuroendocrinology; targeted drugs