Stress, Personality, Immunity, and Cancer: A Challenge for Psychosomatic Medicine

  • Massimo Biondi
  • Paolo Pancheri
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 84)


Many clinical observations seem to suggest that emotional factors, at least in certain cases, can play a role in the genesis and course of neoplastic disease (Bahnson, 1980; Baltrusch, Austarheim, and Baltrusch, 1964; Brown et al., 1974; Crisp, 1970; Gengerelli and Kirkner, 1954; Holden, 1978; Kissen, 1969; Kissen and LeShan, 1964; Pancheri and Biondi, 1979; Stoll, 1979; Surawicz et al., 1976). Experimental studies with animals support this hypothesis, demonstrating how several emotionally stressful stimuli can increase or modify the susceptibility to the development of cancer (Dechambre and Gosse, 1973; Henry et al., 1975; La Barba, 1970; Newberry et al., 1972; Pavlidis and Chingos, 1980; Pradhan and Ray, 1974; Riley, 1974; Sklar and Anisman, 1979, 1980). Other studies show that immune reactivity in both animal and man can be significantly impaired by stressful emotional stimuli, thereby sustaining from a physiopathological standpoint the possibility of a connection among stress, emotions, and neoplasia (Ader, 1980; Biondi, 1980, 1983; Rasmussen, 1969; Rogers et al., 1979; Stein et al., 1976).


Trait Anxiety Life Stress Event York Academy Psychosomatic Medicine Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1985

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  • Massimo Biondi
  • Paolo Pancheri

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