Stress causes the spread of cancer by the lymphatic system

Etxebeste Aduriz, Egoitz

Elhuyar Zientzia

Lymphatic tubes Ed. 2015, Baeyens et al. CC-BY 4.0

Stress causes the spread of cancer through the lymphatic system. To this conclusion an international group of researchers has reached in a research with mice. Chronic stress has been shown to increase the number and diameter of the lymph vessels, making it easier for cancer cells to spread. The results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

There are several evidences that suggest that stress accelerates the extent of cancer and increases mortality. On the other hand, it has been observed that stress also produces an increase in blood vessels, which is a pathway for cancer extension. Another way is the lymphatic system, which has now been shown to be also influenced by stress.

In this new work, they have seen how stress hormones cause an increase in lymphatic vessels in the mouse, increasing the flow of these tubes. In addition, it has been observed that the pharmacological block of stress hormone receptors in the mouse reduces the extent of cancer. Thus, researchers have suggested that the treatment of stress may be important to prevent the spread of cancer cells.

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