Der Onkologe

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 784–791

Ist psychischer Stress ein Risikofaktor bei der Entstehung und Entwicklung von Tumoren?

Übersichten

Zusammenfassung

Epidemiologische Studien über den Zusammenhang zwischen psychosozialem Stress (am Arbeitsplatz oder durch tiefe Lebenseinschnitte) und Tumorentstehung und -entwicklung sind in den Ergebnissen noch immer widersprüchlich und mit einer hohen Varianz behaftet. In einer Mehrzahl von Studien erhöht psychosozialer Stress allerdings das Risiko, an bestimmten Tumorarten zu erkranken, beispielweise an dem am häufigsten untersuchten Brustkrebs. Teilschritte auf dem Weg von Stress zu erhöhtem Krebsrisiko bestehen einerseits aus stressinduzierten Suchtverhaltensweisen (Rauchen, Alkoholkonsum, Essstörungen), andererseits aus den Wirkungen von Stresshormonen und deren Einfluss auf das Immunsystem. Suchtverhalten beinhaltet eine Anzahl von Krebsrisiken, z. B. durch erhöhte Mengen von reaktiven Sauerstoffspezies (ROS) bei Rauchen und Alkoholismus, die mutagen und cancerogen wirken, oder erhöhte Produktion von Adipokinen in den Fettzellen, wodurch die Proliferationsrate auch von Krebszellen stimuliert werden kann. Stresshormone und Zytokine erhöhen bei starkem Stress das Risiko von chronischen Entzündungen, die ihrerseits über eine Anzahl von Faktoren kanzerogen wirken können. Auch die Bekämpfung von Krebszellen durch das Immunsystem (Immunosurveillance) wird durch Stress gehemmt. Schließlich verstärkt Stress Alterungsprozesse wie die Verkürzung von Telomeren, was sich ebenfalls als Krebsrisiko erwiesen hat. Die Beeinflussung von Krebs durch psychosozialen Stress sollte daher bei Präventivmaßnahmen, aber auch bei der Therapie berücksichtigt werden.

Schlüsselwörter

Psychischer Stress Risikofaktor Tumorentstehung und -entwicklung Suchtverhalten Stresshormone 

Is psychological stress a risk factor for the induction and development of tumors?

Abstract

The results of epidemiological studies on the connection between psychological stress (at work or due to traumatic live events) and the induction and development of tumors are still contradictory and characterized by a high degree of variance. In the majority of studies psychological stress increases the risk of certain tumor types, for example the most widely investigated breast cancer. Sub-stages on the path from stress to increased risk of cancer originate from stress-induced addictive behavior (smoking, alcohol consumption, adiposity) and also from the effects of stress hormones and their influence on the immune system. Addictive behavior includes a number of cancer risks, e.g. by increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from smoking and alcoholism which are mutagenic and carcinogenic, or increased production of adipokines in fat cells, whereby the proliferation rate of cancer cells can also be stimulated. Stress hormones and proinflammatory cytokines increase the risk of chronic inflammation by severe stress, which can then be carcinogenic due to a number of factors. The defense mechanisms of the immune system against cancer cells (immunosurveillance) are also inhibited by stress. Finally, stress accelerates aging processes such as the shortening of telomeres which have also been shown to be a cancer risk. The influence of psychological stress on cancer induction an development should therefore be taken into consideration for preventative measures as well as for therapy.

Keywords

Psychological stress Risk factor Occurrence and development of tumors Addictive behavior Stress hormones 

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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zellbiologie, Fachbereich Biologie/ChemieUniversität BremenBremenDeutschland
  2. 2.Zentrum für HumangenetikUniversität BremenBremenDeutschland

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