Cellular and molecular mechanisms of perineural invasion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Jingbo Li, Rui Kang, Daolin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive malignant disease with a unique tumor microenvironment surrounded by an interlaced network of cancer and noncancerous cells. Recent works have revealed that the dynamic interaction between cancer cells and neuronal cells leads to perineural invasion (PNI), a clinical pathological feature of PDAC. The formation and function of PNI are dually regulated by molecular (e.g., involving neurotrophins, cytokines, chemokines, and neurotransmitters), metabolic (e.g., serine metabolism), and cellular mechanisms (e.g., involving Schwann cells, stromal cells, T cells, and macrophages). Such integrated mechanisms of PNI not only support tumor development, growth, invasion, and metastasis but also mediate the formation of pain, all of which are closely related to poor disease prognosis in PDAC. This review details the modulation, signaling pathways, detection, and clinical relevance of PNI and highlights the opportunities for further exploration that may benefit PDAC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-660
Number of pages19
JournalCancer Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • neurotrophins
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • perineural invasion
  • schwann cells
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular and molecular mechanisms of perineural invasion of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this