Stress Triggers Breast Cancer Metastasis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 23, 2012

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Stress Triggers Breast Cancer Metastasis

In a study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology, it has been found that stress can promote spread of breast cancer to the bone.

The study was published in PLoS Biology and demonstrated the "fight-or-flight" response to stress in mice. The way sympathetic nervous system responds to stress fuels bone structure for breast cancer cell metastasis. The researchers used propranolol, a cardiovascular medicine, to prevent lesions caused by breast cancer.

Florent Elefteriou, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology, said that the main goal of the study is to prevent the metastasis of breast cancer, which kills more women than does a primary breast tumour.

Elefteriou and his co-researchers were aware from the findings of their previous studies that sympathetic nervous system triggers bone remodelling and uses similar signals that have been implicated in the spread of breast cancer to bone.

To find the possible link between sympathetic activation and increased risk of breast cancer metastasis to the bone, the researchers carried cancer cell metastasis in mice. Human breast cancer cells were injected into the mouse’s heart to develop a model of the stage of metastasis when breast cancer cells shift from the primary site and move as per the direction.


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  • Joan DeTrain24 Jul 2012

    My friend has been dropped from a clinical trial at Vanderbilt since tests showed her breast cancer was increasing in the lung and she now has fluid (tested showing cancer cells) in her abdomen. Do you know of any other help she might get at Vanderbilt or anywhere else? She is currently being treated in Jackson, TN. Her latest bout with chemo (Xeloda) made her too sick to continue it.

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