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Biomed Res. 2012 Feb;33(1):57-61.

Fragrant environment with α-pinene decreases tumor growth in mice.

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Regional Resources Division, Shizuoka Cancer Center Research Institute, 1007 Shimonagakubo, Nagaizumi-cho, Sunto-gun, Shizuoka 411-8777, Japan.


Stress is believed to be harmful to not only mental but also physical health. However, proving a link between stress and disease is difficult. A recent study reported that an environmental enrichment reduced cancer growth via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and leptin. Here, we report that mice kept in a fragrant environment enriched with α-pinene show reduced melanoma growth. Tumor volume of mice under the α-pinene environment was about 40% smaller than that in the control mice. α-Pinene had no inhibitory effect on melanoma cell proliferation in vitro, suggesting that this effect was not a direct effect of α-pinene. These results suggest that the provision of a fragrant environment may be an important factor in the therapeutic approach to cancer.

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