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Stress hormones promote breast cancer metastasis

March 14, 2019 / University of Basel

It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking breast cancer metastasis with increased stress hormones. In addition, they found that synthetic derivatives of stress hormones, which are frequently used as anti-inflammatory in cancer therapy, decrease the efficacy of chemotherapy. These results come from patient-derived models of breast cancer in mice and may have implications for the treatment of patients with breast cancer, as the researchers report in the scientific journal Nature. One major obstacle in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer is the phenomenon of tumor heterogeneity. As the disease progresses, the tumor becomes more diverse, and the difference between the cancer cells may lead to inadequate treatment. Because the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon remain unclear, the research group of Prof. Mohamed Bentires-Alj ...