A new research has found that adults who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to develop a higher risk of having a deadlier lung cancer. Experts reveal that the lack of air during the night's sleep enables certain tumors to grow rapidly by promoting the quick release of circulating exomes, or the tiny spheres usually found in the white blood cell, which is known to play an essential role in the communication between cells.
Sleep Apnea And Its Health Impacts
Sleep apnea is a common condition where the walls of the throat are found to relax and narrow during sleep, which, in turn, is more likely to interrupt a person's normal breathing mechanism. However, Daily Mail reports that the varying oxygen levels produced during a bad night's sleep cause damage that is detectable even at tissue level.
Consequently, in their quest to study this alarming concern, a team of researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Barcelona had conducted an investigation of lung cancer growth in mice. It was noted that half of these animals have regular breathing patterns while others were intentionally exposed to a condition of a decreased oxygen supply similar to that found in sleep apnea, known as hypoxia.
Furthermore, in one of their statements reported by EurekAlert, study lead author, Dr. David Gozal, MD, MBA, Department of Pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL has revealed that hypoxia is found to potentially enlarge the exosomal release and can selectively modify exosome contents such as to speed up tumor reproduction and the development of new blood vessels known as angiogenesis. He additionally claimed that over the past few years, exosomes have emerged as critically important players in intercellular communication.
Ultimately, Dr. Gozal believes that having an improved understanding of the complex processes regulated by exosomal release will more likely augment their knowledge on its potential adverse effects among cancer and non-cancer patients.