Psychoneuroimmunology and Cancer: Incidence, Progression, and Quality of Life

  • Christopher P. Fagundes
  • Monica E. Lindgren
  • Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser


The notion that psychological factors affect cancer has been present throughout history. Stress is an important factor that dysregulates immune function. Considerable work over the past decade has shown how psychological processes can impact pathways implicated in cancer progression. Furthermore, immune system dysregulation may have major implications for fatigue and depressive symptoms among cancer survivors. In this chapter, we first review evidence linking psychosocial factors to cancer incidence and progression. Then, we examine underlying biological mechanisms that may contribute to these links. Finally, we explore how dysregulated immune function contributes to cancer survivors’ quality of life.


Depressive Symptom Cancer Survivor Breast Cancer Survivor Sickness Behavior Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work on this chapter was supported in part by the following grants: National Institute on Aging (AG029562), National Cancer Institute (CA126857 and CA131029), and an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant PF-11-007-01-CPPB awarded to the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher P. Fagundes
    • 1
  • Monica E. Lindgren
    • 2
  • Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Behavioral Medicine ResearchThe Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Institute for Behavioral Medicine ResearchThe Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Behavioral Medicine ResearchThe Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA

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