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Stress May Reduce Effectiveness Of Cancer Treatments

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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by KYW’s medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough

Physical or mental stress one or two days before cancer treatment may reduce the effectiveness of the therapy, according to an article in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Research.

A research team at Ohio State University found that mental and physical stress activates a stress-related protein that can trigger a chain reaction that enables cancer cells to survive cancer treatments. The presence of a protein with the name “heat shock factor-1” could slow down the process that kills cancer cells even after their DNA was damaged by radiation or chemotherapy.

Why is this important?

First, it may be possible to develop drugs that suppress heat shock factor 1, but it also supports stress reduction as a vital tool in cancer treatment.