Vanderbilt study finds stress fuels breast cancer metastasis to bone
Stress can promote breast cancer cell colonization of bone, Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology investigators have discovered. The studies, reported July 17 in PLoS Biology, demonstrate in mice that activation of the sympathetic nervous system – the "fight-or-flight" response to stress – primes the bone environment for breast cancer cell metastasis. The researchers were able to prevent breast cancer cell lesions in bone using propranolol, a cardiovascular medicine that inhibits sympathetic nervous system signals. Vanderbilt University is home to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.
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