Affiliations: Arbeitsbereich Psychosomatische Medizin und
Psychotherapie, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, (Direktor Professor Dr.
H. Einsele), Klinikstraße 6–8, 97070 Würzburg. Tel.: 0931 201
70220, Fax: 0931 201 70730, E-mail: [email protected],
Abstract: Recent psychoneuroimmunlogical studies inspire the discussion about
the influence of mental strain on the course of cancer. Adverse effects are
documented for solid and hematological tumors. The underlying mechanisms are
only partially understood. Most studies investigated natural killer cells as
most relevant immunological factors. But inconsistent results have led the
focus towards direct neurohumoral mechanisms. Similar to basic oncological
research, interactions with the tumor microenvironment are being examined.
Current results permit only speculations about the interacting mechanisms.
Further research would be of extraordinary significance for oncology because of
Keywords: Psychoneuroimmunology, mental strain and course of cancer, cellular immunity, neurohumoral interactions, microenvironment