Stretching reduces TUMOR GROWTH
First things first - We will be doing a monthly podcast episode discussing emerging research on health science, movement, anatomy, and with others in our MERGE network! When you know better you do better! Lets get to it…
STRETCHING REDUCES TUMOR GROWTH IN A MOUSE BREAST CANCER MODEL? What does the research say?
Published: 5/2018 in NATURE.
Abstract: “Recent studies have shown that gentle daily stretching for 10 minutes can reduce local connective tissue inflammation and fibrosis. Because mechanical factors within the stroma (connective tissue) 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 (implanting tumor) breast cancer model.” 
“Mice were randomized to stretch vs. no stretch, and treated for 10 minutes 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”
“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."
"While cancer research originally focused on the neoplastic transformation of the cancer cells themselves, there is a growing interest in factors within the host that may influence cancer growth, such as angiogenesis, fibrosis, inflammation and immune dysregulation. In addition to developing pharmacological treatments to influence these host factors, there has been interest in non-pharmacological treatments that could boost natural defenses against cancer and contribute to primary and secondary cancer prevention."
Is movement medicine? You be the judge of that! What is interesting here is the link between physical changes in our connective tissue matrix (fascia) and how that has a body-wide response involving our immune system. It is NOT YET globally understood that our fascia is indeed an integral and often overlooked part of our immune system. What we do know about fascia is that it is much more complex than a movement our physical support system, it is also referred to as out "biomechanics auto-regulatory system" thanks to its intricate nature.
Changes in our fascia create global changes across the entire network like the pulling of a thread in a sweater. In this case it was able to activate a "cytotoxic immune responses and levels of Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators" which significantly elevated in the stretch group.
Interested in learning more about FASCIA and how to improve the health of this integrated connective tissue system? Check out our level 1 virtual training!