With increasing attention on the essential roles of the tumour microenvironment in recent years, the nervous system has emerged as a novel and crucial facilitator of cancer growth. In this Review, we describe the foundational, translational, and clinical advances illustrating how nerves contribute to tumour proliferation, stress adaptation, immunomodulation, metastasis, electrical hyperactivity and seizures, and neuropathic pain. Collectively, this expanding knowledge base reveals multiple therapeutic avenues for cancer neuroscience that warrant further exploration in clinical studies. We discuss the available clinical data, including ongoing trials investigating novel agents targeting the tumour-nerve axis, and the therapeutic potential for repurposing existing neuroactive drugs as an anti-cancer approach, particularly in combination with established treatment regimens. Lastly, we discuss the clinical challenges of these treatment strategies and highlight unanswered questions and future directions in the burgeoning field of cancer neuroscience.
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