Navigation Links
Pre-surgical stress management boosts immune function, lowers mood disturbance in prostate cancer patients

HOUSTON - Practicing stress management techniques before prostate cancer surgery may help activate the body's immune response leading to quicker recovery, as well as aid in lowering mood disturbance, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The study is published in the February/March edition of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. It's the first to examine the effects pre-surgery stress management training has on immune outcomes in men with prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate). The researchers previously reported that men who received this training before surgery had significantly less mood disturbance and improved quality of life one year later.

Two levels of stress accompany surgery

"Men who face prostatectomy as treatment for prostate cancer often have high stress levels about the procedure and the potential effects on their quality of life," said Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., the study's senior author and professor in MD Anderson's Departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science. "Both the physical and psychological stress of surgery can be harmful to the immune system. Even brief pre-surgery sessions of stress management positively impact on the recovery process, both in terms of psychological and immunological outcomes," he said.

Surgical stress causes a powerful inflammatory response close to the surgery site and throughout the body, raising certain cell-signaling proteins called cytokines that increase inflammation and suppress the immune response. Psychological stress dysregulates cytokine function, reduces the function of natural killer cells and slows wound healing.

While the elevation of inflammatory cytokines may be harmful if sustained, short-term increases before and after surgery may signal an immune response that helps wounds heal and recover.

Participants received different levels of intervention

In the study, 159 men with early-stage prostate cancer who were scheduled for radical prostatectomy were randomized into three groups.

  • Stress management (SM) group participants:
    • Met twice with a psychologist one to two weeks before surgery to discuss concerns and learned some cognitive techniques
    • Learned deep breathing and guided-imagery techniques to help cope with the possible effects of surgery
    • Were led through mental imagery to help prepare for surgery and hospitalization
    • Received a stress management guide that expanded on sessions and audiotapes of techniques to practice on their own
    • Had brief booster sessions with the psychologist on the morning of the surgery
    • Had a brief session 48 hours after surgery to reinforce relaxation and coping strategies
  • Supportive attention (SA) group participants:
    • Met twice with a psychologist one to two weeks before surgery. Sessions were supportive and included a semi-structured psychosocial and medical history in an interview format
    • Were provided empathy and an encouraging environment in which to discuss concerns
    • Had brief booster sessions the morning of surgery
    • Had a brief session 48 hours after surgery to discuss their experiences leading up to the surgery and during their hospital stay
  • Standard Care (SC) received routine medical care and had no meetings with psychologists

Blood samples were collected from each patient about a month before surgery and 48 hours after surgery. Patient mood was measured about a month before surgery, a week before surgery (after the interventions) and the morning of the surgery.

Results show intervention benefits

Two days after surgery, the men in the SM group had:

  • Significantly higher levels of natural killer function and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines than men in the SA group
  • Higher levels of natural killer function and the cytokine IL-1b than men in the SC group
  • Increased immune system parameters, which decreased or stayed the same for the other two groups

The SM group also had lower mood disturbances before surgery, but this was not found to be associated with immune outcomes.

"This study and evidence from other studies show that psychological intervention before an acute stressor can be beneficial to patients," said Cohen, who is also director of the Integrative Medicine Program. "The implications are that managing stress has biological as well as psychological benefits and might have an effect on aspects of disease."

Further, Cohen says, it suggests that it's important to engage in some type of stress management during stressful periods, especially before surgery.

Next steps

Since the men who took part in this study were mostly white, non-Hispanic, married, and highly educated, researchers say additional studies are needed in more diverse populations, as well as men with advanced disease.

"We're looking at targeting future research to people who might benefit the most, in particular those who are the most distressed and have the lowest level of social support," Cohen said. "This will help provide the most benefit and effective use of health care system's limited resources."


Contact: Laura Sussman
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Related medicine news :

1. Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease
2. Say “I Love You” From Head to Toe with a Gift That's Healthy and Soothes Away Stress this Valentine's Day
3. Tired of Snow, Sleet, and Stress? Join Deepak Chopra for a Week-Long Meditation Retreat this March in Florida's Warm Sunshine
4. New research shows emotional impact of low sexual desire and associated distress
5. Stress hormone, depression trigger obesity in girls
6. Brain Balancing Gives Hope for Sufferers of Depression, Stress, and Insomnia at New Life Brain Center
7. Family members reduce stress in advanced cancer patients with 14 minute massages
8. Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes
9. Good Parenting Triumphs Over Prenatal Stress
10. Promotional Stress Ball Supplier -- Starts 2010 Strongest Ever
11. New research shows innovative respiratory stress test can quickly detect significant coronary artery disease in a noninvasive setting
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Pre-surgical stress management boosts immune function, lowers mood disturbance in prostate cancer patients
(Date:11/27/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... study carried out by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia ... of hospitalizations for head injuries. The article explains that part of the reason for ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors ... treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click ... analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will run ... purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head Check ... lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of its ... 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population - ... estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle Li, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is hosted by Hollywood legend, ... that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world with a wide variety ... consumers focus on, one episode at a time. , In the latest installment ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26 november 2015 AAIPharma Services ... geplande investering aan van ten minste $15,8 ... en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit ... groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 3D bioprinting ... 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research ... Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected to boost ... effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting ... 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI för ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) ... med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda ... sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera flera ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: