"DNA double strand breaks are regarded as one of the primary causes of cancer," says Kusch. "While there are natural mechanisms within an organism to detect and repair these breaks, factors involved in DNA damage repair must first bypass histones. Histones are proteins that condense DNA and protect it from mechanical and other stresses, but also make DNA rather inaccessible."
"These findings answer fundamental questions about DNA double-strand break repair," says Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Stowers Institute. "They may ultimately help to formulate new strategies of cancer therapy."
For more context on what we know and surmise about double strand breaks as related to aging and cancer, you may want to read a fascinating discussion between Robert Bradbury, Aubrey de Grey and Joao Magalhaes here at Fight Aging: Part One, Part Two.