Health Discoveries in General Health News

Reduced stress in cancer patients may aid chromosome health

April 18, 2011
Reducing chronic stress in cancer patients may slow down a reduction in the size of telomeres, or structures within chromosomes that protect them from deteriorating into mutations that further the cancer.

Researchers from the University of California at Irvine presented their study recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Their data was based on 31 women with cervical cancer, half of whom were given counseling sessions along with cancer therapy.

Biological samples taken from the study participants indicated that those who received counseling to reduce their stress appeared to show better results in the health of their telomeres.

"Improved quality of life and reduced stress response was associated with changes in telomere length. But whether we can draw conclusions or make recommendations about the capacity of a behavioral intervention to modulate telomere length remains an open question," said Dr. Edward Nelson, the university's head of hematology/oncology.

Clinical trials on all forms of cancer are done through the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and in conjunction with the Monter Cancer Center, both facilities of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
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