Author(s): Sarkar DK, Murugan S, Zhang C, Boyadjieva N, Sarkar DK, Murugan S, Zhang C, Boyadjieva N
Abstract Share this page
Abstract It is becoming increasingly clear that stressful life events can affect cancer growth and metastasis by modulating nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the process by which stress may potentiate carcinogenesis and how reducing body stress may prevent cancer growth and progression. The opioid peptide β-endorphin plays a critical role in bringing the stress axis to a state of homeostasis. We have recently shown that enhancement of endogenous levels of β-endorphin in the hypothalamus via β-endorphin neuron transplantation suppresses stress response, promotes immune function, and reduces the incidence of cancer in rat models of prostate and breast cancers. The cancer-preventive effect of β-endorphin is mediated through the suppression of sympathetic neuronal function, which results in increased peripheral natural killer cell and macrophage activities, elevated levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines. β-endorphin inhibition of tumor progression also involves alteration in the tumor microenvironment, possibly because of suppression of catecholamine and inflammatory cytokine production, which are known to alter DNA repair, cell-matrix attachments, angiogenic process, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Thus, β-endorphin cell therapy may offer some therapeutic value in cancer prevention.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Cancer Surgery