cancer and ageing

The common biology of cancer and ageing
The biological processes involved in the development of cancer and the process of ageing have much in common.
Perhaps cancer is a process where the process is concentrated in one organ and ageing involves the whole or most of the body.
The ageing process involves a wide range of molecular stresses
loss of telomeres, which are the specialised structures at the ends of chromosomes . They protect the natural chromosome ends from fusion and therefore are essential for chromosome stability, rather like a ferule at the end of a walking stick.
the de-repression of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 2a ( CDKN2a )
the accumulation of DNA damage and the subsequent activation of DNA damage response.
This process is reviewed in Nature
Finkel et al 2007 Nature, The common biology of cancer and ageing vol 448, 767-774
It is also interesting that a reduced dietary intake slows the ageing process and may prevent the development a of cancer.

Martin Eastwood
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