Navigation Links
Rutgers researchers show how the brain can protect against cancer

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
Rutgers University

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:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported ... head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest ... in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory ... strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., ... June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical ... Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: