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Cancer, its treatment may accelerate the aging process in young patients

Video Credit: ANI - Duration: 01:09s - Published
Cancer, its treatment may accelerate the aging process in young patients

Cancer, its treatment may accelerate the aging process in young patients

A new study examines the effects of cancer and its treatment on the aging process and finds that the expression of a gene associated with aging is higher in young patients with cancer after treatment with chemotherapy and in young cancer survivors who are frail.

The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Previous research has shown that a protein called p16INK4a, which slows cell division, is produced at higher levels by cells as a person ages.

Using the expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a as a marker of age, Andrew Smitherman, MD, MSc, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his colleagues examined immune cells circulating in the blood of young adult survivors of childhood cancers and of children and adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer.

The team first analyzed cells from 60 survivors and compared them with cells from 29 age-matched individuals without a history of cancer.

Expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a was higher in survivors than in controls, representing a 25-year age acceleration.


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