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Table 2 Physiological studies looking at the effect of stress on DNA damage and tumor development

From: Stress and breast cancer: from epidemiology to molecular biology

Study Study focus Study design Subjects Results
Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues [104] DNA damage DNA-repair capacity in lymphocytes in response to X-ray irradiation Distressed vs. nondistressed psychiatric patients Lower DNA repair capacity in distressed individuals
Glaser and colleagues [105] DNA damage DNA repair capacity during period of stress Medical students during examination Increase in DNA repair capacity during period of stress, possibly as initial response to increased DNA damage
Cohen and colleagues [106] DNA damage Levels of O6-methylguanine-methyltransferase following stress exposure Stressed vs. control rats Levels of DNA repair enzyme are reduced in stressed rats
Fischman and colleagues [107] DNA damage Rate of sister chromatid exchanges in response to γ-irradiation, mitomycin-C in the presence of environmental stressors Stressed vs. control rats Increase in sister chromatid exchanges in stressed rats; increased susceptibility to mutagenesis
Sacharczuk and colleagues [108] DNA damage Rate of DNA mutation occurrence Oxidative damage Stressed vs. control rats Increased rate of DNA mutation occurrence in stressed rats
Adachi and colleagues [109] DNA damage Rate of DNA mutation occurrence Oxidative damage Stressed vs. control rats Increased rate of DNA mutation occurrence in stressed rats
Weinberg and Emerman [73] Tumor development Tumor growth in response to acute daily novelty stress Socially isolated vs. group-housed male mice Increased tumor growth in socially isolated animals
Grimm and colleagues [74] Tumor development Tumor growth in response to change in housing conditions Mice switched from group to individual housing vs. individual to group housing Increased tumor growth rate in mice switched from group to individual housing
Hermes and colleagues [75] Tumor development Life-time risk of mammary tumor incidence, tumor growth rate in response to social isolation Socially isolated vs. group-housed female rats Increased risk for developing at least one malignant tumor; increased tumor growth; hyperactive response to future stressors; sustained changes in HPA-axis signaling
Williams and colleagues [76] Tumor development Tumor incidence, tumor size in response to social isolation Socially isolated vs. group-housed mice Increased tumor incidence; increased tumor size; higher number of poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas in socially isolated animals; increased HPA-axis reactivity to additional stress; no permanent changes in baseline corticosterone; global changes in gene expression