They solve the mystery of how stress helps cancer spread

Due to the current pace of life, many people suffer from stress, anxiety or mental stress due to any difficult situation. Various studies have shown that stress can increase the risk of pain. heart diseaseshelps prevent further spread of stroke cancer Which is a challenge in oncological treatment.
Now, from the researchers Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory They may have succeeded in solving this mystery. They found that stress causes certain white blood cells called neutrophils to form sticky, web-like structures that make the body’s tissues more susceptible to metastasis. The discovery could point to new treatment strategies that stop cancer from spreading before it starts.

researcher zu-yan he explains that “Stress in cancer patients is something we can’t really avoid. You can imagine that if you get a diagnosis you can’t stop thinking about the disease or the future. “So it was very important to understand how stress affects us.”

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The team made their discovery by simulating long-term stress in mice suffering from cancer. They first removed tumors that were growing in the breasts of mice and spreading cancer cells to their lungs. Then, they exposed the rats to stress. What they saw was shocking: the number of metastases quadrupled.

The team found that stress hormones called glucocorticoids act on neutrophils. These “stressed” neutrophils form web-like structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular nets). NETs are formed when neutrophils extrude DNA. Normally, they might protect us from invading microorganisms, but in cancer, NETs create a favorable environment for metastasis.

To confirm that stress triggers NET formation, leading to a increased metastasis, did three tests. First, they eliminated neutrophils from mice using antibodies. Next, they injected the animals with a net-destroying drug. Finally, they used mice whose neutrophils could not respond to glucocorticoids. Similar results were obtained in each test. “The stressed mice no longer developed metastases,” says Zou-Yan He.

The implication, although surprising, is clear: “Reducing stress should be a component of cancer treatment and prevention,” the researchers concluded.

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