A study led by Deborde and colleagues showed that cancer cells exploit normal Schwann cell nerve repair programs to promote perineural invasion. This research study observed these results in:
- pancreatic adenocarcinoma
- thyroid cancer
- salivary duct carcinoma
Schwann cells are a type of glial cells, which surrounds neurons and play an essential role in the fuction and survival of the neurons.
Cancer cells formed protrusions and migration toward Schwann cells through a protein called NCAM1 (Neural Adhesion Molecule 1), which is correlated with the presence of perineural invasion.
Perineural invasion (PNI) is also often seen in:
- head and neck cancer
- prostate cancer
- colorectal cancer
- Deborde S, Omelchenko T, Lyubchik A, Zhou Y, He S, McNamara WF, et al. Schwann cells induce cancecr cell dispersion and invasion. J Clin Invest 2016; 126:1538-54.
- Cancer Discovery, May 2016, 473.
- Ström P, et al. Prognostic value of perineural invasion in prostate needle biopsies: a population-based study of patients treated by radical prostatectomy. J Clin Pathol 2020 Oct;73(10):630-635.
- Schmitd LB, et al. Perineural Invasion in Head and Neck Cancer. J Dent Res 2018 Jul;97(7):742-750.
- Knijn N, et al. Perineural Invasion is a Strong Prognostic Factor in Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review. Am J Surg Pathol. 2016 Jan;40(1):103-12.
- NCAM1 neural cell adhesion molecule 1 [Homo sapiens (human)], https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/4684 (accessed April 6, 2021)
- Schwann Cells, Biology Dictionary. https://biologydictionary.net/schwann-cells (accessed April 6, 2021)