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Thus stress fuels the spread of tumors

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Thus stress fuels the spread of tumors

Researchers Discover How Chronic Stress Fuels Cancer Spread

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Cell by the American Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shed light on the detrimental effects of chronic stress on cancer metastasis. The study, led by Xue-Yan He, now at the University of Washington, uncovered a mechanism by which stress induces the formation of sticky structures by white blood cells called neutrophils, making tissues more vulnerable to the spread of tumors.

The research team found that chronic stress in mice with cancer led to a significant increase in metastases, with stressed animals showing up to four times more tumor spread. This increase was attributed to stress hormones, specifically glucocorticoids, which stimulate neutrophils to produce these sticky structures that serve as traps for tumor cells.

By removing neutrophils from the equation or administering a drug that targets the webs formed by these white blood cells, the researchers were able to prevent the development of metastases in stressed mice. This discovery highlights the crucial role of neutrophils in promoting tumor spread under conditions of chronic stress.

Interestingly, the study also revealed that stress can induce the formation of these sticky networks by neutrophils even in the absence of tumors, suggesting that stress may create a favorable environment for cancer development. According to lead researcher Linda Van Aelst, stress reduction should be considered a fundamental component of cancer treatment and prevention.

This groundbreaking research opens the door to new therapeutic approaches that could potentially slow down or halt the spread of tumors within the body. By targeting the effects of chronic stress on neutrophils, future treatments may be able to mitigate the harmful impact of stress on cancer progression.

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To read the full article, visit ANSA.it.

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