Psychological stress and immunological modulations in early-stage melanoma patients

Erika Richtig, Eva Maria Trapp, Alexander Avian, Hans Peter Brezinsek, Michael Trapp, Josef Wilhelm Egger, Hans Peter Kapfhammer, Peter Michael Rohrer, Andrea Berghold, Clara Curiellewandrowski, Ulrike Demel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mental stress may have a negative impact on the immune state of cancer patients, in whom immunologic surveillance is essential for survival. This study investigated the immunological response of 19 patients with early-stage melanoma and a matched control group undergoing the Determination Stress Test before surgery. Cytokine and chemokine levels and lymphocyte subpopulations were measured at baseline and post-stress test time-points. Following the stress test lower levels of interleukin (IL)-6 were observed in the melanoma group compared with healthy volunteers (p = 0.044). IL-10 increased significantly in the control group 30 min after the stress test (p = 0.002) in comparison with the melanoma group (p = 0.407). CCL5/Rantes decreased significantly in the melanoma group, whereas CD16/CD56+ natural killer cells increased in both groups, with a sharp decrease below baseline after stress in the melanoma group (p = 0.001). This pilot study shows an altered immunological response to stressors in melanoma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-695
Number of pages5
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Lymphocytes
  • Melanoma
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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