Sleep and Cancer
The fact that cancer and its treatment negatively affect patient sleep is well known. However, whether sleep disturbances could enhance cancer development and progression is a question that has been raised more recently. There is, however, considerable evidence from epidemiological and clinical studies and from of experimental research in cell and animal models strongly suggesting that sleep alterations may increase the growth and metastasis of several types of malignancies. Different sleep disturbances can boost cancer growth. On the one hand, changes in sleep architecture, for instance modification of the circadian cycle by shift work or sleep fragmentation caused by sleep apnea). On the other hand, the events of chronic intermittent hypoxia experienced by patients with sleep apnea have also been shown to increase cancer progression. Current basic and clinical research is focused on identifying the pathophysiological mechanisms determining the interaction between sleep and cancer.
Ramón Farré (RF) is Professor of Physiology at the Biophysics and Bioengineering Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB) since 2003. In the teaching field, he has been taking responsibilities of coordination in the Degrees of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering and in the Master of Bioengineering. In the field of university management, RF has been Secretary of the Department of Physiological Sciences I, Secretary and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and member of the Delegate Economic Commission of the Governing Council of the UB. In the field of national scientific management, RF is Coordinator of the Area “Biopathology and respiratory, cardiovascular and renal bioengineering” of the Biomedical Research Institute of August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), is head of the research group “Respiratory biophysics and bioengineering” of the IDIBAPS, and head of Group 12 of the CIBER of Respiratory Diseases. At the international level, in the last 10 years RF has been “officer” of the “Clinical Respiratory Physiology, Exercise and Functional Imaging” Assembly of the European Respiratory Society, and has been a member of the strategic planning of the “Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology” Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. Since 2008 he is Associate Editor of the European Respiratory Journal (1st decile ISI). Since the creation of EIT-Health (2015), RF is Director of Education of its Spanish node and is a member of the “Strategic Committee of Education” of EIT-Health (Munich, Germany). RF research is located in the field of bioengineering. Specifically, it is aimed at deepening our understanding of the mechanical behavior of the respiratory system to improve the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases. He has published 230 international peer-reviewed papers (h-index=40).