A novel clinical approach can up the success rate of cancer operations.
Cancer surgery weakens a body's immune system and stress hormones exacerbate the problem - leading to recurrence of cancer in patients.
Prof. Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, head of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychology is testing a cocktail of drugs to prevent the negative effects of stress responses to colon cancer surgery.
If successful, it will help the immune system maintain its vigour and prevent the occurrence of new tumours.
According to Ben-Eliyahu, existing generic drugs could block the influence of the hormones that wreak havoc on the immune system.
The team blocked these hormones in animals using the drugs - beta-adrenergic antagonist, which is used to treat hypertension and anxiety, and a Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, used against inflammation and pain.
The results indicated that long-term post-operative survival rates could increase by as much as 300 percent.
If his new study on human volunteers succeeds, it could set a new paradigm for cancer treatment and post-surgery recovery rates.
The study appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Immunology.