This sleep problem could boost lung cancer growth

A new scientific study shows that sleep apnea can favor lung cancer growth in young individuals.

The study is carried out by researchers from the University of Barcelona.

The obstructive sleep apnea Syndrome is a chronic disease which affects about the 10 % of adult population worldwide.

During these last years, researchers have shown interest in the study of the potential relation between the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and its immediate consequence, intermittent hypoxia, with the appearance of tumors.

In this new study, the team tested young mice -equivalent ages to those in teenagers- and old mice -corresponding to people aged over 65.

They found the lack of oxygen during sleep (hypoxia) could speed up tumor growth in the youngest ones.

In addition, the younger, the more vulnerable to cancer’s aggressiveness.

The finding represents a scientific advance within the research line of potential effects of obstructive sleep apnea in cancer.

The research team has related these results to a differential immune response to intermittent hypoxia in tumor-associated macrophages and regulator lymphocytes.

The researchers suggest people should consider the importance of the research conducted on animals aged equally to patients with respiratory chronic diseases, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

The future challenge is to identify and prove sleep apnea’s physiopathological consequences and contribute to the development of personalized medicine to work on its comprehensive handling.

The study is published in the journal Americal Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Source: University of Barcelona.