Stress and cancer treatment
New research out of the University of Queensland highlights how stress can suppress a patient’s response to cancer treatment. This occurs through chronic stress suppressing how the immune system responds to cancer, which in turn reduces the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments. This is potentially devastating news for patients since cancer is typically a very stressful diagnosis to deal with. However, University of Queensland scientists are on the ball and are investigating potential therapies that patients can use to reduce stress signaling and hopefully improve their response to cancer treatments. Specifically, they are looking at combining immunotherapy treatments with commonly used blood pressure drugs to hopefully block the effect of stress hormones, thereby increasing immune function.