Breakthrough Study Reveals How Chronic Stress Fuels Cancer Spread

,

 / 

In a groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a profound connection between chronic stress and the spread of cancer has been unveiled.

Led by former CSHL postdoc Xue-Yan He, along with Adjunct Professor Mikala Egeblad and Professor Linda Van Aelst, the study sheds light on the mechanisms through which stress exacerbates cancer metastasis. Published in Cancer Cell, their findings open new avenues for potential treatment strategies to halt cancer progression before it gains momentum.

Stress, an unavoidable aspect of modern life, has long been recognized as a detriment to health, with links to heart disease, strokes, and now, cancer metastasis. The team embarked on their investigation to decipher the intricate relationship between stress and cancer spread, recognizing the pressing need for insights into this critical area of cancer care.

He, now an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, highlights the significance of understanding how stress impacts cancer patients.

“Stress is something we cannot really avoid in cancer patients,” He explains. “You can imagine if you are diagnosed, you cannot stop thinking about the disease or insurance or family. So it is very important to understand how stress works on us.”

The researchers simulated chronic stress in mice with cancer, observing a startling increase in metastatic lesions in stressed mice compared to a control group. Egeblad recalls the dramatic findings, noting a fourfold increase in metastasis in stressed mice.

The team pinpointed the role of stress hormones, particularly glucocorticoids, in triggering the formation of sticky web-like structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) by certain white blood cells known as neutrophils.

NETs, typically involved in defending the body against microbial invaders, take on a sinister role in cancer by creating an environment conducive to metastasis. His experiments confirmed that stress-induced NET formation significantly contributed to increased metastasis.

Remarkably, chronic stress not only facilitated cancer spread but also primed lung tissue for potential cancer development, even in mice without cancer.

The implications of these findings are profound. Van Aelst emphasizes the importance of integrating stress reduction into cancer treatment and prevention strategies. “Reducing stress should be a component of cancer treatment and prevention,” she asserts.

Moreover, the team speculates that future drugs targeting NET formation could hold promise in slowing or halting cancer metastasis, offering much-needed relief for patients at risk of cancer spread.

The study represents a significant leap forward in understanding the complex interplay between stress and cancer progression. By elucidating the mechanisms through which stress fuels metastasis, the researchers have identified potential targets for intervention and underscored the importance of addressing stress in cancer care.

Moving forward, further research will be needed to explore the feasibility and efficacy of targeting NET formation as a therapeutic approach. Nevertheless, the study’s findings offer hope for the development of innovative treatments aimed at curbing cancer metastasis and improving patient outcomes.

In summary, the study conducted by CSHL researchers unveils a compelling link between chronic stress and cancer spread, paving the way for novel therapeutic strategies and highlighting the critical role of stress management in cancer care.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Beware: Overconsumption of Vitamins and Minerals Can Have Serious Health Consequences

Recent findings suggest that while vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining good health, excessive intake of certain nutrients can lead to adverse effects on the body. Medical experts caution against the overconsumption of vitamins and minerals, emphasizing the potential dangers associated with their misuse.

Dr. Wendolyn Gozansky, a geriatrician and chief quality officer with Kaiser Permanente, highlights the importance of distinguishing between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

While water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, are easily eliminated from the body, fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D, can accumulate and cause toxicity if taken in excess.

Overconsumption of Vitamins Can

Up Next

Impact Of Air Pollution: Understand How It Is Linked to Deteriorating Mental Health

In a significant revelation, the Delhi government has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that exposure to air pollution is closely associated with worsening mental health conditions among residents of the national capital. The admission comes amidst growing concerns over the hazardous air quality levels that have plagued Delhi for years

The disclosure was made during a hearing before the NGT, where the Delhi government presented findings linking air pollution to a range of mental health issues. This revelation underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the dual crisis of air pollution and its impact on public health.

Impact Of Air Pollution On Mental Health

Delhi, one of the most polluted cities globally, g

Up Next

10 Crucial Facts About Peanut Allergies Every Parent Should Know

In a recent report by Fox News, Dr. Rani Maskatia, a pediatric and adult allergist and immunologist in California, shared essential insights into peanut allergies that every parent should be aware of.

As more than six million individuals in the U.S. contend with peanut allergies, including approximately 1.6 million children and teens, understanding the nuances of this condition is paramount.

Peanut Allergies And Facts You Must Know About

Peanut Allergy Origins:Peanut allergies stem from an immune system reaction to proteins found in peanuts, prompting various symptoms across different bodily systems.

Rising Prevalence:The prev

Up Next

Understanding Spring Asthenia: Navigating Seasonal Changes in Mood and Energy

As the days grow longer and warmer, many anticipate the arrival of spring with a sense of joy and vitality. However, for some individuals, the transition to a new season may bring unexpected challenges in the form of low energy and mood disturbances. Known as spring asthenia or springtime lethargy, this phenomenon is not medically recognized as a diagnosable condition but is familiar to many who experience it.

Concept of Spring Asthenia

While the concept of spring asthenia lacks formal medical recognition, its effects are widely acknowledged among individuals who find themselves grappling with a dip in energy and mood as the seasons change.

Although these changes are typically temporary and manageable, it’s essential to recognize when they may be ind

Up Next

Role Of Genetic Testing in Predicting Parkinson’s Disease Risk: A Comprehensive Overview

Parkinson’s disease (PD) presents a complex challenge in the realm of neurological conditions, characterized by progressive motor impairment.

While its diagnosis traditionally hinges on meticulous history-taking and examination, the underlying causative factors involve an intricate interplay of genetic testing and environmental influences.

Recent insights from Dr. Richa Singh, a Consultant Neurologist at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, shed light on the emerging role of genetic testing in identifying mutations associated with PD.

However, it’s imperative to grasp that possessing a genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily equate to developing PD. Conversely, the absence of genetic markers doesn’t guarantee immunity to the disease. Hence, genetic testing isn’t standard practice due to its limited capacity to

Up Next

Study Reveals Alarming Link Between Childhood Loneliness and Psychosis Risk in Adulthood

In a groundbreaking study presented at the European Congress of Psychiatry, researchers unveiled disturbing findings regarding the long-term consequences of childhood loneliness.

The preliminary results suggest that individuals who experienced loneliness during their formative years are significantly more likely to suffer from psychosis later in life.

Led by Dr. Covadonga Diaz-Caneja of the Institute of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon in Madrid, Spain, the study analyzed data from 285 individuals who had experienced their first episode of psychosis and 261 individuals who had not.

The participants’ reports indicated a clear correlation between childhood loneliness and the likelihood of experiencing psychosis, characterized by hallucinations, delusions,

Up Next

Alarming Rise in Cancer Cases Among Young Adults Sparks Concern: Is Diet the Culprit?

In recent years, a disturbing trend has emerged across the United States, including South Florida, where an increasing number of young adults under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with cancer. The rise in Cancer cases has prompted experts to investigate potential causes, with a particular focus on lifestyle factors such as diet, environment, exercise habits, and substance use.

Natasha Mathias, who tragically lost her twin sister Natalie to colon cancer at the age of 42, serves as a poignant example of this trend. Natalie’s diagnosis came as a shock to her family, as they were unaware of the possibility of colon cancer at such a young age. Reflecting on her sister’s experience, Natasha emphasizes the importance of being vigilant about one’s health, especially when unusual symptoms persist.