Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course

Date:
March 21, 2012
Source:
University of Miami
Summary:
Researchers have shown that a stress management program tailored to women with breast cancer can alter tumor-promoting processes at the molecular level. The new study is one of the first to link psychological intervention with genetic expression in cancer patients.

A team of researchers led by Michael H. Antoni, director of the University of Miami's Center for Psycho-Oncology Research, has shown that a stress management program tailored to women with breast cancer can alter tumor-promoting processes at the molecular level. The new study, recently published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, is one of the first to link psychological intervention with genetic expression in cancer patients.

Related Articles


In the study, researchers found that a group-based intervention called Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management (CBSM) can have an effect on which genes in the cells of the immune system are turned on and off and in ways that may facilitate better recovery during treatment for breast cancer.

"For the women in the CBSM groups, there was better psychological adaptation to the whole process of going through treatment for breast cancer and there were physiological changes that indicated that the women were recovering better," said Antoni, professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and program leader of biobehavioral oncology at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. "The results suggest that the stress management intervention mitigates the influence of the stress of cancer treatment and promotes recovery over the first year."

Previous research has shown that during times of adversity, our nervous and endocrine systems send signals to the immune system, which defends us from disease. In response, our body activates specific genes inside immune cells called white blood cells or leukocytes, Antoni explains.

"For the women who participated in the intervention groups, the genes that signal the production of molecules associated with a healthy immune response, such as type I interferon, were up-regulated -- meaning they were producing more of these substances compared with levels seen in the control group," Antoni said. "At the same time, the genes responsible for the production of substances involved in cancer progression, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and matrix metalloproteinases were down-regulated."

CBSM is a ten-week group-based program developed at UM that combines relaxation, imagery, and deep breathing, along with cognitive behavior therapy, which is designed to help patients reduce bodily tension, change the way they deal with intrusive stressful thoughts, decrease negative moods, and improve their interpersonal communication skills. In the study, 79 women undergoing primary treatment for stage III breast cancer were randomized into a ten-week CBSM program or a psychoeducational control group in the weeks following surgery. Six-month and 12-month follow-up assessments were conducted.

"You essentially have this timeframe in a woman's life where she is getting diagnosed with breast cancer, followed by surgery, then chemotherapy or radiation, and it's very stressful," Antoni said. "This can be an emotionally and physically exhausting period offering little opportunity for recovery. If stress affects the immune system in a negative way, then their recovery could be slowed down, and those patients taking longer to recover may be at risk for poorer health outcomes. Conversely, if stress management intervention can reduce the impact of stress on the immune system, then recovery may be hastened."

The research team plans to follow the women in this cohort to see if CBSM intervention and its effects on leukocyte gene expression are predictive of recurrence and/or long-term health outcomes.

The National Cancer Institute and The Pap Corps, Champions for Cancer Research funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael H. Antoni, Susan K. Lutgendorf, Bonnie Blomberg, Charles S. Carver, Suzanne Lechner, Alain Diaz, Jamie Stagl, Jesusa M.G. Arevalo, Steven W. Cole. Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management Reverses Anxiety-Related Leukocyte Transcriptional Dynamics. Biological Psychiatry, 2012; 71 (4): 366 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.10.007

Cite This Page:

University of Miami. "Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120321132054.htm>.
University of Miami. (2012, March 21). Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120321132054.htm
University of Miami. "Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120321132054.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins