Stress hormones stimulate tumor cells to metastasis to
Already for a long time, doctors suggest that Stress favors disease is the formation of cancer. Why this connection exists, but was, as yet, unclear. A Swiss research team has now uncovered the mechanism of how stress hormones drive cancer growth.
Researchers from the University of Basel have discovered why stress hormones accelerate the formation of metastases in breast cancer. The Team showed that certain cancer do cells react to stress hormones such as Cortisol. In the case of a high stress hormone level the Tumor is stimulated to form metastases. The results of the study were recently presented in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
Cancer cells are more diverse due to metastases
The treatment of a cancer that has already metastasized, Doctors always face many difficulties in the treatment. One reason for this is the increasing tumor heterogeneity. As the researchers report, in the course of a metastatic cancer disease, the tumor cells always a variety of. The growing differences between the individual cancer cells are not able to then ensure that therapies start or enough.
How stress hormones act on certain cancer cells
The Team of Professor Mohamed Bentires-Alj showed why certain cancer cells form the most frequently metastases. The triple negative breast cancer is known for this type of cancer develops most frequently metastases, and standard therapies have little prospect of success. The researchers discovered in these cancer cells called glucocorticoid receptors. To these receptors hormones can dock, such as Cortisol, released during Stress. According to the study, is excited by the metastases formation and on the other, the heterogeneity, the diversity of the tumor increases.
Stress can be fatal
In experiments in mice confirmed this fact. The researchers studied cancer mice and documented the concentration of stress hormones. The mice with the highest level of stress before the meadows and the highest activity of the glucocorticoid receptors. These rodents showed during the investigation, the strongest formation of metastases, as well as the highest heterogeneity in the cancer cells and, ultimately, also the shortest life span.
Chemotherapy must be reconsidered
As the researchers report, in the framework of a chemotherapy frequently drugs, such as dexamethasone, the synthetic derivatives of the stress hormone Cortisol. The Team from Basel showed that dexamethasone affects the efficacy of the drug Paclitaxel, which is also frequently used with chemotherapy. The researchers emphasize that the prescription of the stress hormone-containing drugs, in particular, in breast cancer patients: caution is advised.
New approach for therapies
Furthermore, these findings also offer a new treatment approach against breast cancer. The researchers propose to develop a blockage of the glucocorticoid receptors, could prevent the metastasis of breast cancer.
Stress management is gaining importance
“Tumor heterogeneity is a major obstacle in the treatment,” says Professor Bentires-Alj, in a press release announcing the study results. The importance of stress management cannot be overemphasized. Moderate exercise and relaxation methods are demonstrably connected with an improved quality of life and life expectancy of the patients. Naturopathy offers a large Repertoire of possibilities for natural stress relief. For more Information, see the article “reduce Stress”. (vb)