A model of the relations between psychological factors and cancer progression should include brain and systemic components and their link with critical cellular stages in cancer progression. We present a psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) model that links helplessness-hopelessness (HH) with cancer progression via interleukin-1β (IL-1β). IL-1β was elevated in the brain following exposure to inescapable shock, and HH was minimized by antagonizing cerebral IL-1β. Elevated cerebral IL-1β increased cancer metastasis in animals. Inescapable shock was associated with systemic elevations IL-1β and peripheral IL-1β was associated with escape from apoptosis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Involvement of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are discussed. Future studies need to identify the role of additional factors in this PNI pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology