Wednesday October 16, 2019

Human Ageing Processes May Hinder Cancer Development, Study Suggests

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that the human ageing processes may hinder cancer development

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human, ageing, development, cancer, study
The researchers found that in most of the tissues examined, ageing and cancer gene expression 'surprisingly' changed in the opposite direction. Pixabay

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that the human ageing processes may hinder cancer development.

Ageing is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer. However, the biological mechanisms behind this link are still unclear, the study said in a paper published in the journal Aging Cell.

In an effort to better understand the biological mechanisms researchers compared how genes differentially expressed with age and genes differentially expressed in cancer among nine human tissues.

Normally, a healthy cell can divide in a controlled manner. In contrast, senescent or ‘sleeping’ cells have lost their ability to divide.

As we age, the number of senescent cells in our bodies increase, which then drive many age-related processes and diseases.

“Our results highlight the complex relationship between ageing, cancer and cellular senescence and suggest that in most human tissues ageing processes and senescence act in tandem while being detrimental to cancer,” said study researcher Joao Pedro De Magalhaes from the University.

Genetic mutations triggered by things such as UV exposure can sometimes cause cells to replicate uncontrollably — and uncontrolled cell growth is cancer.

Cells are often able to detect these mutations and in response go to sleep to stop them dividing.

The researchers found that in most of the tissues examined, ageing and cancer gene expression ‘surprisingly’ changed in the opposite direction.

These overlapping gene sets were related to several processes, mainly cell cycle and the immune system.

human, ageing, development, cancer, study
As we age, the number of senescent cells in our bodies increase, which then drive many age-related processes and diseases. Pixabay

Moreover, cellular senescence changed in the same direction as ageing and in the opposite direction of cancer signatures.

The researchers believe the changes in ageing and cellular senescence might relate to a decrease in cell proliferation, while cancer changes shift towards an increase in cell division.

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“One of the reasons our bodies have evolved to have senescent cells is to suppress cancers. But then it seems that senescent cells accumulate in aged human tissues and may contribute to ageing and degeneration,” De Magalhaes said.

“Our work challenges the traditional view concerning the relationship between cancer and ageing and suggest that ageing processes may hinder cancer development,” De Magalhaes added. (IANS)

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Being Overweight Before the Age of 40 Can Increase Risk of Cancer in Adults

"The risk increased by 64 per cent for male participants and 48 per cent for females," Bjorge added

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Researchers have found that being overweight before the age of 40 could increase the risk of various cancers in adults.

“Obesity is an established risk factor for several cancers. In this study, we have focused on the degree, timing and duration of overweight and obesity in relation to cancer risk,” said study author Tone Bjorge, Professor at University of Bergen in Norway.

For the findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the research team wanted to find out how adult overweight (BMI over 25) and obesity (BMI over 30) increase the risk of different types of cancer.

The researchers used data for 2,20,000 individuals from the Me-Can study, with participants from Norway, Sweden and Austria.

Data from health examinations, including information on height and weight, were linked to data from national cancer registries.

Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. VOA

According to the researchers, 27,881 individuals were diagnosed with cancer during follow-up, of which 9,761 (35 per cent) were obesity-related.

The study showed that if you were overweight before age 40, the risk of developing cancer increases by: 70 per cent for endometrial cancer, 58 per cent for male renal-cell cancer, 29 per cent for male colon cancer and 15 per cent for all obesity-related cancers (both sexes).

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Obese participants (BMI over 30) at the first and second health examination had the highest risk of developing obesity-related cancer, compared to participants with normal BMI.

“The risk increased by 64 per cent for male participants and 48 per cent for females,” Bjorge added. (IANS)