Sleep Disturbance and Cancer—Animal Models

Karin Yaacoby-Bianu, Fahed Hakim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) has been linked to wide range of adverse physiologic and pathologic features, from cognitive impairments to increased risk of cancer. In this current review, we will discuss some of the emerging evidence connecting sleep disruption with cancer, by exploring different models of sleep disorders and how they appear to affect cancer. Then, we will summarize our current understanding of the underlying mechanisms, and finally, we will discuss the impact of sleep on one of the frequent and advanced cancer therapies, namely bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Experiments in animal models provide supportive findings, whereby each of the major components of SDB has begun to unravel their potential and complex effects on cancer biology, most likely via alterations in oxidative stress, angiogenesis, immune function, and sympathetic outflow. Future research is undoubtedly needed to better understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms of SDB-related effects on cancer in general, and more specifically on cancer prevention, treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, BMT), and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Sleep Medicine Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.


  • Animal models
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cancer
  • Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)


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