Stress Strongly Fuels Cancer’s Deadly Spread

February 23, 2024

For many cancer patients, the journey is fraught with anxiety and fear, not just about their prognosis but also about the grueling treatments ahead. Above: lung cancer metastasis in a mouse that underwent experiments designed to simulate the stress that cancer patients experience. These stressed neutrophils start forming something called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are essentially sticky webs of DNA that can trap pathogens. This indicates a direct link between stress, neutrophils, and the spread of cancer. Cancer spread faster and more furiously in stressed mice (middle column) than in a control group (left column).