At the Interface Between Aging and Cancer

An interesting conference report from a new contributer to Ouroboros: "The idea is this: some cells in the body proliferate too much or get too much DNA damage and undergo cell senescence. These cells cause aging, not because we run out of cells, but because these cells stick around indefinitely and poison the environment with nasty factors that they secrete into the extracellular space. [Judith Campisi's] group has now identified many of these factors and analyzed the phenotype and underlying pathways to a great extent. The secreted proteins fall into two main categories: Inflammatory cytokines and proteases. Inflammation has been popular in recent years (with good reason), because it is involved in all kinds of bad stuff ranging from heart disease to arthritis to Alzheimer's. Dr. Campisi now believes that the primary culprit in the inflammatory response is IL-6. ... Here's the shortest talk summary ever: Massimiliano Bonafe reported that IL-6 activates Notch, which in turn promotes breast cancer malignancy. (Are you starting to see a trend here? IL-6 sucks!)"



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