Psychoneuroimmunology and cancer: a decade of discovery, paradigm shifts, and methodological innovations

Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Mar;30 Suppl(0):S1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 16.


This article introduces the supplement Advances in Cancer and Brain, Behavior, and Immunity and outlines important discoveries, paradigm shifts, and methodological innovations that have emerged in the past decade to advance mechanistic and translational understanding of biobehavioral influences on tumor biology, cancer treatment-related sequelae, and cancer outcomes. We offer a heuristic framework for research on biobehavioral pathways in cancer. The shifting survivorship landscape is highlighted, and we propose that the changing demographics suggest prudent adoption of a life course perspective of cancer and cancer survivorship. We note opportunities for psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research to ameliorate the long-term, unintended consequences of aggressive curative intent and call attention to the critical role of reciprocal translational pathways between animal and human studies. Lastly, we briefly summarize the articles included in this compilation and offer our perspectives on future research directions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Psychoneuroimmunology*
  • Research Design
  • Research*