- Great new study publication by Helene Langevin: mice with breast tumor who performed 10 min./day of yoga inspired stretching had 52% less tumor growth (compared with the control animals), and this in only 4 weeks. A 52% improvement appears to me to be way beyond the published effects of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation combined! I also wonder how much stronger the effect of this stretching might have been if continued for more than 4 weeks.
Maintaining in a particular yoga pose for 10 minutes continuously - as they did in this study - is not something I would do intuitively; and probably not many mice either But the effects shown in this study on tumor growth, on inflammatory cytokines and on immune system functioning are indeed impressive.
Yin-yoga teachers and related friends: get prepared to be in high demand in the next few decades!
There is growing interest in developing non-pharmacological treatments that could boost natural defenses against cancer and contribute to primary and secondary cancer prevention. Recent studies have shown that gentle daily stretching for 10minutes can reduce local connective tissue inflammation and fibrosis. Because mechanical factors within the stroma can influence the tumor microenvironment, we hypothesized that stretching would reduce the growth of tumors implanted within locally stretched tissues and tested this hypothesis in a mouse orthotopic breast cancer model. Female FVB mice (N=66) underwent bilateral injection of p53/PTEN double-null primary mouse mammary tumor cells into the third mammary fat pad. Mice were randomized to stretch vs. no stretch, and treated for 10minutes once a day, for four weeks. Tumor volume at end-point was 52% smaller in the stretch group, compared to the no-stretch group (p<0.001) in the absence of any other treatment. Cytotoxic immune responses were activated and levels of Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators were elevated in the stretch group. These results suggest a link between immune exhaustion, inflammation resolution and tumor growth. Stretching is a gentle, non-pharmacological intervention that could become an important component of cancer treatment and prevention.
See the full article here.