Biobehavioral influences on cancer progression

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2011 Feb;31(1):109-32. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2010.09.001.


This review focuses on the contributions of stress-related behavioral factors to cancer growth and metastasis and the biobehavioral mechanisms underlying these relationships. Behavioral factors that are important in modulation of the stress response and the pivotal role of neuroendocrine regulation in the downstream alteration of physiologic pathways relevant to cancer control, including the cellular immune response, inflammation, and tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and cell signaling pathways are described. Consequences for cancer progression and metastasis, as well as quality of life, are delineated. Behavioral and pharmacologic interventions with the potential to alter these biobehavioral pathways for patients with cancer are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology
  • Immunosuppression
  • Inflammation*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology