The molecular and functional contributions of intratumoral nerves to disease remain largely unknown. We localized synaptic markers within tumors suggesting that these nerves form functional connections. Consistent with this, electrophysiological analysis shows that malignancies harbor significantly higher electrical activity than benign disease or normal tissues. We also demonstrate pharmacologic silencing of tumoral electrical activity. Tumors implanted in transgenic animals lacking nociceptor neurons show reduced electrical activity. These data suggest that intratumoral nerves remain functional at the tumor bed. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrates the presence of the neuropeptide, Substance P (SP), within the tumor space. We show that tumor cells express the SP receptor, NK1R, and that ligand/receptor engagement promotes cellular proliferation and migration. Our findings identify a mechanism whereby intratumoral nerves promote cancer progression.