Laron Dwarfism, Longevity, and Cancer

At first glance, Laron dwarfs appear to be the Ames dwarf mice of the human world - long-lived and resistant to cancer, due to a genetic mutation that suppresses the somatotrophe axis: "There are a little more than 300 people in the world with the condition Laron dwarfism, a third of whom live in remote villages in Ecuador's southern Loja province. Sufferers of Laron - believed to be caused by inbreeding - lack a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, or IGF1. Research [suggests] this is the reason for their longevity and apparent immunity to cancer. ... We've discovered that people with Laron simply don't get cancer. Cancer can be detected in their relatives of a normal size, but never in my patients - not one single case. ... Laboratory work in mice, flies and worms has shown that if IGF1 is removed, the animals tend not to get cancer and to live longer. This is now mirrored in recent research into small humans, who turn out to have little or no IGF1." There are a few large factual mistakes in the article, as might be expected given the source, but it is most interesting to see this work in mice translate so faithfully to humans.


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