Navigation Links
Stress and depression are associated with shorter survival in head and neck cancer patients
Date:4/28/2011

WASHINGTON, DC (April 28, 2011)Studies have shown that stress can affect the immune system and weaken the body's defense against infection and disease. In cancer patients this stress can also affect a tumor's ability to grow and spread. However, the biological mechanisms that underlie such associations are not well understood. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center find that poor psychosocial functioning is associated with greater vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expressiona signaling protein that not only stimulates tumor growth, but is also associated with shorter disease-free survival in head and neck cancer patients.

"There is research showing that high VEGF expression in other cancers, such as ovarian, is associated with psychosocial factors," says Carolyn Fang, Ph.D., Co-Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase, who will be presenting the study at the 32nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine on Thursday, April 28th. "This information coupled with what we already know about VEGF promoting tumor aggressiveness and poorer prognosis in head and neck cancer patients, certainly gave us a reason to look at this biomarker."

VEGF not only plays a pivotal role in angiogenesis, but it is also regulated by stress hormones and key cytokinesa category of signaling molecules used extensively in intercellular communication.

In the current study, Fang and colleagues looked at 37 newly diagnosed, pre-surgical head and neck cancer patients, to see if psychosocial functioning, such as perceived stress and depressive factors, was associated with VEGF, a biological pathway relating to patient outcomes. The patients were predominantly male (70.3%), and approximately 57-years-old, with primary tumor sites of the oral cavity (65.9%), larynx (19.9%), and oropharynx (13.5%). Over 40% of them were classified as having early-stage disease.

Each patient was given a psychosocial questionnaire to complete prior to treatment, which required them to answer questions about social support, depression, and perceived stress. In addition, VEGF expression in tumor tissue obtained during surgery was evaluated using immunohistochemistrya process that helps detect the presence of specific proteins in cells or tissues.

"Our analysis indicated that higher levels of perceived stress and depressive symptoms were associated with greater VEGF expression in the tumor tissue of these patients" says Fang. Greater VEGF expression was, in turn, associated with shorter disease-free survival among patients.

The associations between psychosocial functioning and VEGF were strong among early-stage patients, but were less apparent among late-stage patients.

"It's possible that in early stage disease, psychosocial stress makes patients more susceptible to cancer-related death, while in patients with advanced disease, other factors become more important in determining outcome," says Miriam N. Lango, M.D., Medical Director of Speech Pathology Service and Attending Surgeon in Head and Neck Oncology at Fox Chase. "In patients with advanced cancers, psychosocial interventions may have less of an impact since these cancers are inherently more aggressive."

In the near-term, Fang and her colleagues hope to expand the study to look at a larger sample of patients and to incorporate other signaling pathways that are relevant to cancer, like EGFR, which researchers involved in Fox Chase's Keystone Program in Head and Neck Cancer are already exploring.

"The next step is to conduct a longitudinal study that would allow us to examine patient psychosocial functioning in conjunction with biomarkers of disease aggressiveness and survival from pre-treatment through post-treatment and beyond, which would give us a more complete picture of how these factors may contribute to patient outcomes," Carolyn adds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Frank Hoke
Franklin.Hoke@fccc.edu
215-728-2700
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Some TV Fans Distressed Without Favorite Shows: Study
2. Pregnant and Stressed May Mean Offspring Who Misbehave
3. Repeated stress in pregnancy linked to childrens behavior
4. Teachers-based intervention provides stress resistance in war-exposed children
5. Older age memory loss tied to stress hormone receptor in brain
6. Elevated levels of sodium blunt response to stress, study shows
7. Girls in Some Sports Face Raised Risk of Stress Fractures: Study
8. Exercise may prevent stress on telomeres, a measure of cell health
9. Chronic stress of cancer causes accelerated telomere shortening
10. Does Stress Reduction Benefit Cancer Patients Health?
11. Pilot study examines stress, anxiety and needs of young women with a unique breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2017)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... today announced the appointment of Mike Finnegan to the position of Executive Vice ... years of experience in healthcare technology, telehealth and medical device sales leadership. He ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the Better Care Reconciliation Act ... Affordable Care Act (ACA), would result in 22 million Americans losing their health insurance ... than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance under the ACA, and from 2013 ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... and personal financial planning services to residents of southern New Hampshire, is teaming ... that promises to fight hunger and homelessness in the region. , New Horizons ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Hammer Strength, the world’s leading performance strength training brand, and ... Houston Rockets the NBSCA Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year. , In ... vote to select the coach who embodies the highest level of excellence and outstanding ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... Torrance dentist, Dr. Robert Mondavi ... of the most noticeable aspects of a person’s appearance. A healthy, radiant smile can ... with beautiful, balanced teeth, everyone can have the smile of their dreams with cosmetic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... Corp. is voluntarily performing a worldwide field correction of certain Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps ... ... CS100i IABP ... 0998-UC-0446HXX; 0998-UC-0479HXX 0998-00-3013-XX;  0998-UC-3013-XX 0998-00-3023-XX;  0998-UC-3023-XX ... This field correction also applies to any System 98 or ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... N.C. , June 14, 2017  In 2016, ... Creative Startups pitch competition and came away ... reality platform is described by Forbes as "entering the ... American Medical Association as teaching "empathy to medical professionals ... the startup was recently named a finalist for the ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... , June 9, 2017  Shane K. Burchfield, DPM, is ... for excellence as a Podiatrist in Alabama . ... at Family First Foot Care. He brings over 20 years of ... pain management and healthcare, to his role. ... Foot Care, PC is pleased to welcome you to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: