Short-term stress stops cancer

Stress is commonly thought to increase susceptibility to disease, but a new study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity finds short-term stress can actually boost the immune system and help reduce the number of skin cancer tumors in mice. Squamous cell carcinoma Image: Wikimedia Commons "It does not make sense that stress should always or necessarily be harmful since its most basic form is the fight-or-flight response," linkurl:Firdaus Dhabhar,;http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/frdActionServlet?choic

Katherine Bagley
Sep 27, 2009
Stress is commonly thought to increase susceptibility to disease, but a new study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity finds short-term stress can actually boost the immune system and help reduce the number of skin cancer tumors in mice.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Image: Wikimedia Commons
"It does not make sense that stress should always or necessarily be harmful since its most basic form is the fight-or-flight response," linkurl:Firdaus Dhabhar,;http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/frdActionServlet?choiceId=printerprofile&fid=7313 the lead author of the paper and a neuroimmunologist from Stanford University, wrote in an email. "In nature, the ability to mount stress responses is essential for survival." Previous studies, including several from Dhabhar's lab, have shown that acute stress can help fight infection and enhance immune function. But this latest paper, which appeared linkurl:online;http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WC1-4X7R80J-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=672c570e06a4f193e1176c033349a6a3 at the journal's website ahead of print publication, is the first to demonstrate its effects on cancer. "These findings are very exciting," said linkurl:Rainer Straub,;http://www.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/Medizin/Innere_1/aknei/rheumanet-rba/index.htm a neuroimmunologist...




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