Biological and translational implications of enteric nerves in colorectal cancer: When tumors get nervous

Glenn Rademakers

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This thesis investigates the role of the enteric nervous system, or 'the abdominal brain' in colon cancer. Through this study, it has been shown that there is an interaction between the nerve cells of the gut and the tumor cells, where certain proteins secreted by nerve cells can affect the growth of the tumor. It has also been shown that the presence or absence of nerve fibers in colon tumors may predict the life expectancy of colon cancer patients. Finally, it was discovered that many methylation markers, which can be used for early detection of colon cancer, are involved in nervous system processes. These studies indicate the importance of the enteric nervous system in colon cancer, which has not been extensively studied before. In the future, this research may lead to the development of new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as new therapies for colon cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van Engeland, Manon, Supervisor
  • Melotte, Veerle, Co-Supervisor
  • Smits, Kim, Co-Supervisor
Award date15 May 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464021240
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • colon cancer
  • enteric nervous system
  • tumour microenvironment
  • diagnostic biomarker
  • prognostic biomarkers

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