Life stress, negative mood states, and antibodies to heat shock protein 70 in endometrial cancer

Deidre B. Pereira*, Timothy Sannes, Stacy M. Dodd, Sally E. Jensen, Linda S. Morgan, Edward K L Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), an intracellular chaperone "stress protein," has been identified in the extracellular milieu, where it may exert regulatory effects upon monocytes. HSPs are overexpressed in many cancers and implicated in tumorigenesis. Few studies have examined the relationship between psychosocial factors and HSP levels, particularly in cancer. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between negative psychosocial states (life events stress and negative mood states) and serum concentration of HSP70 antibodies among women with endometrial cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women in the United States. Thirty-six women scheduled to undergo surgery for suspected endometrial adenocarcinoma underwent a psychosocial assessment and peripheral venous blood draw. Life events stress was assessed using an abbreviated version of the Life Experiences Survey; negative mood states were assessed using abbreviated versions of the Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scales and the Profile of Mood States. HSP70 antibody levels were regressed sequentially on life events stress and negative mood variables while controlling for body mass index (BMI) and cancer stage. Results revealed that greater HSP70 antibody concentrations were associated with greater impact of recent negative life events (p = .04), anxious symptomatology (p = .007), depressive symptomatology (p = .03), and total mood disturbance (p = .001) after controlling for BMI and cancer stage. While based on a modest sample size, these preliminary results suggest that larger-scale research exploring the relationships among psychosocial factors and HSP70 in cancer patients may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-214
Number of pages5
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Mood
  • Stress
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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