According to David Spiegel, a leading authority on mind-body interactions and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, the study represents “an important and well-conducted study of the effects of treatment of depression on survival in a primary care setting.”
Spiegel evaluated the research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stressing the finding that “Comorbid depression shortens survival time with cancer, and intervention with medication and psychotherapy can therefore extend survival among cancer patients.”
The better survival rates were not seen in patients with depression and cardiovascular disease, only in those with cancer.
Spiegel notes that this “is surprising given the well-known link between depression and poor cardiovascular disease outcome.”
He concludes, “Vigorous diagnosis and treatment programs for comorbid depression in cancer patients should, based on this study, extend survival time.”
Source: BioMed Central