Social isolation is associated with elevated tumor norepinephrine in ovarian carcinoma patients

Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 5.89). 10/2010; 25(2):250-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.10.012
Source: PubMed


Noradrenergic pathways have been implicated in growth and progression of ovarian cancer. Intratumoral norepinephrine (NE) has been shown to increase with stress in an animal cancer model, but little is known regarding how tumor NE varies with disease stage and with biobehavioral factors in ovarian cancer patients. This study examined relationships between pre-surgical measures of social support, depressed mood, perceived stress, anxiety, tumor histology and tumor catecholamine (NE and epinephrine [E]) levels among 68 ovarian cancer patients. We also examined whether associations observed between biobehavioral measures and tumor catecholamines extended to other compartments. Higher NE levels were found in advanced stage (p=0.006) and higher grade (p=0.001) tumors. Adjusting for stage, grade, and peri-surgical beta blockers, patients with a perceived lack of social support had significantly higher tumor NE (β=-0.29, p=0.012). A similar trend was seen for social support and ascites NE (adjusting for stage, peri-surgical beta blockers and caffeine: β=-0.50, p=0.075), but not for plasma NE. Other biobehavioral factors were not related to tumor, ascites, or plasma NE (p values >0.21). Tumor E was undetectable in the majority of tumors and thus E was not further analyzed. In summary, these results suggest that tumor NE provides distinct information from circulating plasma concentrations. Tumor NE levels were elevated in relationship to tumor grade and stage. Low subjective social support was associated with elevated intratumoral NE. As beta-adrenergic signaling is related to key biological pathways involved in tumor growth, these findings may have implications for patient outcomes in ovarian cancer.

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Available from: Frank Penedo, Aug 28, 2014
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    • "Variance comes from the heterogeneity of sample sizes (Ns are noted below), analyses of subgroups within larger trials, intervention components, and differential rates of follow-up, among other factors, which makes generalizations difficult. The majority of trials noted below studied breast cancer patients , and there are only limited data from patients with other types of cancer (i.e., ovarian, Lekander, Fürst, Rotstein , Hursti, & Fredrikson, 1997; prostate, Cohen et al., 2011; melanoma, Fawzy, Kemeny, et al., 1990; cervical, Lutgendorf et al., 2011). "
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    American Psychologist 02/2015; 70(2):186-197. DOI:10.1037/a0035730 · 6.87 Impact Factor
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    • "Tumor NE levels were elevated in accordance with tumor grade and stage. Low subjective social support was associated with elevated intratumoral NE [9]. We found advanced stage oral cancer to be associated with higher catecholamine and glucocorticoid levels in peripheral blood, and our data suggest that those substances affect the tumor micro-environment though the circulating blood rather than the tumor matrix. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Noradrenergic pathways and glucocorticoid-mediated signal pathways have been implicated in the growth and progression of oral cancer. Patients with oral neoplasms can have high psychological distress levels, but the effects of stress-related hormones on oral neoplasm growth are unknown. Methods We have investigated the relationships between pre-surgical measurements of psychological problems with Symptom Checklist-90-revised Inventory (SCL90-R), tumor histology, circulating blood catecholamine and glucocorticoid levels among 75 oral neoplasm patients, including 40 oral cancer patients and 35 benign oral tumor patients. Results The results showed that most dimension scores of SCL90-R did not show a significant difference between the two groups except depression (p = 0.0201) and obsessive-compulsion (p = 0.0093), with the scores for these symptoms being higher among oral cancer group versus the benign oral tumor group. The differences of total score, average score and other monomial factor scores were not statistically significant. The mean concentrations of catecholamine and glucocorticoid in peripheral blood of the oral cancer group were higher than those in benign oral tumor group (p<0.01). We also examined whether associations observed between biobehavioral measures and circulating blood catecholamine and glucocorticoid levels extended to other compartments in the oral cancer group. Conclusions These findings suggest that stress hormones may affect oral cancer behavior by influencing the tumor micro-environment though the circulating blood.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e99179. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099179 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    International Review of Psychiatry 02/2014; 26(1):31-43. DOI:10.3109/09540261.2013.864259 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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