Why this conference and this new “More than Neurons” Series?

Increasingly and compelling evidence support the idea that the nervous system plays a central role in oncogenesis, growth, and invasion by tumors. In turn, cancer has the ability to hijack and/or remodel nervous system functions and structures to benefit its own growth and malignancy. 

Several studies show that interactions between the nervous system and cancer can occur both locally and at a distance. Neural cells (neurons, glia, stem cells) can communicate directly with malignant cells in the local tumor microenvironment through paracrine factors and even through actual synapses between neurons and tumor cells. Moreover, in a wide range of malignancies outside the nervous system, interactions between cancer and nervous tissue occur at a distance through circulating signals, tumor innervation, and influences on immune cells, with major consequences for antitumor immunity and responsiveness to drug treatments, including immunotherapy in responsive tumours (lung, renal cell carcinoma, melanoma, etc.). 

The emerging field of cancer neuroscience aims to unravel key signaling pathways in the tumor-nervous system axis and to evaluate these modulators as future targets for innovative and effective therapies for many of the most difficult-to-treat malignancies.  

Expanding current knowledge of cancer neuroscience requires multidisciplinary efforts and collaboration among scientists working in the fields of neuroscience, cancer biology, developmental biology, immunology and many others. It is no coincidence that our new conference series is called the "Breaking Borders Series": it indeed aims at filling the apparent gaps between research fields. 

The conference specifically aims to provide an opportunity for young and talented researchers to present their contributions in this field. In addition, Honorary lectures by outstanding experts in this field are included in the program to ensure the full success of the conference and its objectives.  

Looking forward to meeting you in Bologna!  

Mariagrazia & Piero


  • CNS primary tumours 
  • Brain metastasis
  • Brain cancer/metastasis remodelling of brain circuits and functions
  • Cancer-neuron synapses
  • Neural stem cells and cancer
  • Glial cells in cancer
  • Neurogenesis and axonogenesis in cancer (i.e prostate, pancreatic and breast cancer)
  • Neuronal transdifferentiation of cancer cells
  • Neuroimmune axis in cancer and cancer microenvironment
  • BBB and cancer
  • Meninges and cancer
  • Perineural invasion in peripheral tumours
  • Cancer and pain
  • Cancer-associated cachexia
  • Cancer-induced epilepsy
  • Sleep disruption and cancer
  • Circadian rhythms and cancer
  • Metabolic and immunologic disruptions in cancer
  • Cognitive effects of cancer and cancer treatments
  • Cancer/cancer therapy and mood disorders
  • CART cell therapy in primary brain tumors
  • Neuronal /neural mechanisms in chemoresistance of cancer cells
  • Drug repurposing based on brain/neurons-tumour interactions
  • Neurodevelopment disorders and cancer susceptibility
  • Neuromuscular disorders and cancer
  • Neurodegenerative disorders and cancer