Bad Nerves Cause Cancer? New Stem Cell Study Sure to Raise Eyebrows…

By /

bad nerves cause cancer
Many times, nerves are the red headed stepchild of medicine. They are often overlooked as causes of various pain syndromes and in the cancer world, they are downright invisible. Now a new study suggests that for leukemia and related disorders, bad nerves causing bad stem cells may be the main cause of the disease.

Myeloproliferative disorders are a collection of diseases that include leukemia and all involve excessive growth of stem cells in the bone marrow. They have been linked back to a gene that goes awry that causes too much of an enzyme to be produced that in turn revs the stem cells into overdrive. The overstimulated stem cells in turn make bad mutant blood cells.

The new study involved an animal model of cancer where certain changes were made to the bone marrow environment. While the authors, like everyone else, would have thought that changing how blood forming stem cells differentiate into normal blood cells would have impacted the rate of cancer forming cells (causing some stem cells to mutate), that didn’t happen as expected. Instead, it was damage to the nerves in the bone marrow that allowed the cells to mutate to produce more enzyme. In fact, the authors could turn this effect off by giving the animals simple medications that caused the bad nerves to stop misbehaving.

If replicated in humans, this is a very important paper. Why? Our entire cancer fighting strategy has consisted of “dropping the big one” by giving patients potent cell poisons to kill cancer cells. The downside of course is that these poisons also damage normal cells (i.e. your hair falls out and you get very sick). Here, stopping the cancer was as simple as giving drugs to chill out the bad bone marrow nerves. The side effect profile of such a treatment would be minimal compared to chemotherapy. In addition, many of these drugs are off patent and cheap.

The upshot? Do bad nerves cause cancer?  This is a big finding that may change how we approach leukemia patients. It could be that “fixing” leukemia is as simple as chilling out some misbehaving nerve cells!

Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.
Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

Get Blog Updates by Email

We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

By submitting the form you agree that you’ve read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may use email, phone, or other electronic means to communicate information about Regenexx.

We will provide information to help you decide whether you want to schedule an evaluation with a Regenexx Physician.

Insurance typically covers evaluations and diagnostic testing (if recommended). Most insurance plans currently do not cover Regenexx Procedures.

Category: Latest News
Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved.



9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.