Wednesday June 19, 2019

Cancer May Lead to Premature Ageing, Says Study

They established that the NOX2 enzyme generates superoxide which drives the ageing process

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Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

While it is well known that ageing promotes cancer development, UK researchers have showed that the reverse is also true.

A team from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that leukaemia — a type of blood cancer — promotes premature ageing in healthy bone marrow cells.

Importantly, the aged bone marrow cells accelerate the growth and development of the leukaemia, creating a vicious cycle that fuels the disease.

“Our results provide evidence that cancer causes ageing. We have clearly shown that the cancer cell itself drives the ageing process in the neighbouring non-cancer cells,” said Stuart Rushworth from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

“Our research reveals that leukaemia uses this biological phenomenon to its advantage to accelerate the disease,” he added.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

The study, published on Thursday in the journal Blood, also identified the mechanism by which this process of premature ageing occurs in the bone marrow of leukaemia patients and highlights the potential impact this could have on future treatments.

The team showed NOX2, an enzyme usually involved in the body’s response to infection, to be present in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells — and this was found to be responsible for creating the ageing conditions.

They established that the NOX2 enzyme generates superoxide which drives the ageing process.

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By slowing down NOX2, researchers showed the reduction in aged neighbouring non-malignant cells resulted in slower cancer growth.

Rushworth said: “It was not previously known that leukaemia induces ageing of the local non cancer environment. We hope that this biological function can be exploited in future, paving the way for new drugs.” (IANS)

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Cold-Parenting Associated with Premature Ageing in Offspring

The research has found that early-life stress is associated with shorter telomeres

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Cold-Parenting, Premature, Ageing
The research has found that early-life stress is associated with shorter telomeres. Pixabay

Unsupportive parenting styles may have several negative health implications for children including premature ageing and higher disease risk later in life, says a study.

The research found that the telomeres — protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA — of participants who considered their mothers’ parenting style as “cold” were on average 25 per cent smaller compared to those who reported having a mother whose parenting style they considered “warm”.

The research has found that early-life stress is associated with shorter telomeres, a measurable biomarker of accelerated cellular ageing and increased disease risk later in life.

“Telomeres have been called a genetic clock, but we now know that as early life stress increases, telomeres shorten and the risk of a host of diseases increases, as well as premature death,” said lead author of the study Raymond Knutsen, Associate Professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in the US.

Cold-Parenting, Premature, Ageing
Unsupportive parenting styles may have several negative health implications for children including premature ageing. Pixabay

“We know that each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten, which shortens its lifespan,” Knutsen added.

Interestingly, mutations in genes maintaining telomeres cause a group of rare diseases resembling premature ageing.

“However, we know that some cells in the body produce an enzyme called telomerase, which can rebuild these telomeres,” Knutsen said.

The study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, used data from 200 participants.

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“The way someone is raised seems to tell a story that is intertwined with their genetics,” Knutsen said. (IANS)