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Future directions in preclinical and translational cancer neuroscience research

Recent advances in cancer neuroscience necessitate the systematic analysis of neural influences in cancer as potential therapeutic targets in oncology. Here we outline recommendations for future preclinical and translational research in this field.

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Fig. 1: Neural influences in cancer.
Fig. 2: Areas of future research focus for the cancer neuroscience field.


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I.E.D. was awarded the ENIGMA Young Investigator Prize of the Society for Scientific Meetings in Biomedicine to organize the NIC meeting. We thank Society for Scientific Meetings in Biomedicine (Verein für wissenschaftliche Fachtagungen in der Biomedizin e.V./VWFB e.V; and its chair, H. Augustin, for support. The meeting was also supported by grants from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DE2428/7-1) and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation ( I.E.D. was also funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (project ID 329628492–SFB 1321). M.M. is a New York Stem Cell Foundation Druckenmiller fellow and was supported by the EMBO European Commission FP7 (Marie Curie Actions; EMBOCOFUND2012, GA-2012-600394, ALTF 447-2014).

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I.E.D. wrote the first draft of the manuscript and was the main organizer of The 1st Neural Influences in Cancer (NIC) International Think Tank Meeting, which took place 7–9 November 2019 in Heidelberg, Germany. C.M.R. generated the figures. All authors made substantial contribution to the meeting and to the generation of the consensus concepts as outlined here, and have read and agreed on the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ihsan Ekin Demir.

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Competing interests

T.C.W. is a Consultant for Novo Nordisc and Glaxo SmithKline and is on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cygnal Therapeutics.

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Demir, I.E., Mota Reyes, C., Alrawashdeh, W. et al. Future directions in preclinical and translational cancer neuroscience research. Nat Cancer 1, 1027–1031 (2020).

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