Improper Sleep Encourages the Cancer Growth

It is a scientifically proved that sleep can influence our health in a very unpredictable way but in case of a recent studies it was demonstrated that the plain old quality rest can have a major impact on cancer cells evolution.

Improper Sleep Encourages the Cancer Growth

A study conducted in US on a group of two mice groups using the same cancer treatment demonstrated how disrupted sleep causes tumors to grow larger and more aggressively.

Also in the case of early cancer stages, the mice benefiting from quality sleep demonstrated a stronger immune response compared to the sleep-disrupted group.

Repeated Study Theme

Two different studies researched in 2012 the same topic that linked sleep apnea to high risk of mortality in case on cancer patients. This is why, professor Gozal , an esteemed figure in sleep apnea research , together with his colleagues from Universities of Illinois and Chicago explored further the effects sleep –disruption has on tumor growth and aggressive  behavior.

What happened?

During the study funded by the National Institute of Health, the mice were separated in two groups. One group was allowed normal patterns of sleep and the other group was repetitively forced to wake up during their sleep. After one week of this treatment both groups were injected with tumor cells. 4 weeks later the scientists observed that the tumor growth was doubled in case of the mice which were put through disrupted sleep.

Even more, in the case of tumor implants in a thigh muscles, the development of the cancer tissue was far more aggressive, the tumor cells contaminating the surrounding areas for the mice from the same group.

The Immune System

The different reaction to tumor implants seem to have been triggered by tumor associated macrophages. TAMs usually work inside the tumor eliminating the cancer cells, but in the case of sleep disrupted mice the scientists observed that TAM worked in the outer tissue of the tumor supporting blood flow and helping the tumor grow.

It seems that TAMs activity is associated with the presence or the absence of three different proteins. MYD88, TRIF and TRL4 cause the tumor associated macrophages to help cancer grow in case of sleep disruption. The scientists have discovered that in the absence of these proteins the sleep problems have almost no effect on cancer growth.

70 million people from US suffer from sleep disruption and considering what huge impact the quantity and quality of sleep has on the health of human beings, the researchers plan to continue the study on how sleep-deprivation influences metastasis and cancer treatment response.