Neurotransmitters Signal Aggressive Cancer, Offer Potential for Early Diagnosis

Armen Hareyan's picture

Cancer Diagnosis

Nerves talk to each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of those "communication chemicals," aptly named GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), shows up in unusually high amounts in some aggressive tumors, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The researchers investigated metastatic neuroendocrine tumors, which include aggressive types of lung, thyroid, and prostate cancers that spread to other parts of the body. Their study appears in the July 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is available online