Stress receptor spreads breast cancer

Stress receptor spreads breast cancer

More and more evidence that stress causes and spreads cancer is building, despite CRUKs view that stress doesnt have an effect. Published online in the International Journal of Cancer, research from scientists at The University of Western Ontario has taken yet another step toward confirming the stress causes cancer effect.

Studying a branch of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system, which talks to cells in various organs throughout the body, they found that when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, like it is during stress, it communicates with receptors on cells through the release of neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and neuropeptide Y or NPY. This is a normal response that prepares the body for fight or flight.

Since there is a very dense supply of sympathetic nerves in the female breast, it would be reasonable to suspect that NPY may be released in greater amounts in the breasts of those at risk for breast cancer. Thus, we postulated if cancer cells are present and they respond to NPY, then this neuropeptide and its receptors would form a functional link between stress and breast cancer progression.

Once we had established that breast cancer cells express the receptors for NPY, then we went through a set of experiments that looked at the functional consequences of activating them. We found NPY greatly accelerates cell growth as well as cell migration and these are two important steps in primary tumour growth, as well as in metastasis, concluded the researchers.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and founder of CANCERactive added, "You can go back to John Vane who won a Nobel Prize and a knighthood in 1982 for his work on eicosanoids and prostaglandins - he showed clearly back then that stress hormones like cortisol, turned on the production of inflammatory enzymes via the Cox-2 system; and this inflammation helped cancer to spread. The issue is not does stress cause cancer to spread any more? surely but rather, exactly how does it do it? These guys have made a step towards providing the answer."

Go To: Stress Management aids cancer survival


2015 Research
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.