Navigation Links
Rutgers researchers show how the brain can protect against cancer
Date:6/9/2008

New Brunswick, NJ--Scientists have been aware for many years that if cancer patients are not able to deal with the stress associated with being sick, the cancer will progress faster than in calmer patients. To counteract this phenomenon, physicians encourage treatments that help cancer patients handle their stress. Scientists theorized that the stress relief may have come as a result of increased beta-endorphin peptide (BEP), the "feel good" hormones in the brain that are released during exercise, a good conversation, and many other aspects of life that give humans pleasure.

Researchers at Rutgers hypothesized that BEP producing neurons do not just make us feel good, but also play roles in regulating the stress response and immune functions to control tumor growth and progression. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Dr. Dipak K. Sarkar and his colleagues demonstrate the physical mechanisms that support their hypothesis.

"Our findings show promise for future therapeutic treatments for bolstering the immune function," said Sarkar, professor of animal sciences and director of the Endocrinology Program at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and principal investigator of the research project.

Previous research has shown that too few, or inactive, BEP neurons are associated with various diseases. For example, low numbers of BEP neurons have been identified in the brains of patients with depression and schizophrenia. Neurons that produce too little BEP are found in many obese patients. In both these cases the patients also had higher levels of infection and more incidence of cancer.

To test their hypothesis about the role of BEP in controling tumor growth and progression, the Rutgers scientists took neural stem cells, transformed them into BEP neurons by treating them with particular chemicals, and then transplanted them into brains of live rats. The authors studied tumor growth in the rats that had been given carcinogens to induce prostate tumors. The authors noted that the BEP neurons boosted the immune system by increasing the activity of particular immune cell types and decreasing inflammation.

The neurons also protected the rats against prostate cancer 90 percent of the time. The researchers discovered that the "natural killer," or NK cells that typically attack cancer cells in the body, are activated by the inserted BEP neurons. The NK cells reduced inflammation around the cancer cells, which slowed down caner cell growth and killed many of these cells.

"We are optimistic that this research can be applied to human medicine," said Sarkar. "Instead of transplanting cells, we will investigate whether we can increase BEP using a chemical approach."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michele Hujber
hujber@aesop.rutgers.edu
732-932-7000
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The Healthcare Foundation of NJ awards grant to Rutgers College of Nursings Rachel Jones
2. 2 Rutgers College of Nursing Ph.D students to receive FNSNA Fellowships
3. Rutgers College of Nursings Linda Flynn to receive N.J. Governors Nursing Merit Award
4. Rutgers research partner Stemcyte, Inc., expands to New Jersey
5. The Zonta Club of Essex County honors Rutgers College of Nursings Rachel Jones
6. Julia Quinlan to present awards at a conference hosted by Rutgers College of Nursing
7. Rutgers researchers unlock mysteries of vitamin A metabolism during embryonic development
8. NJSNA honors Rutgers College of Nursings Linda Flynn for excellence in research
9. Rutgers center sparks liquid bandage, a new frontline wound treatment
10. Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones awarded Rutgers-Newark Provost Award
11. Rutgers College of Nursing emerita professor Beverly Whipple receives FSSS book award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are ... Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute ... presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic ... most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging ... the past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Heroes Golf Classic Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club ... charity, Luke’s Wings, an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... upcoming 2016 Miss Arizona pageant as its official Medspa Sponsor. Dr. Josh Olson, ... and Chandler, Arizona. , Dr. Olson says the decision to support the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report ... The report contains up to date financial data derived from ... of major trends with potential impact on the market during ... market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and country ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , a ... its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... on June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate ... in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: