Cancer: The Phenoptosis Concept Essay

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In particular: a) species which show no aging (“animals with negligible senescence”) show the same telomerase activity at any age and have no cancer problem, as demonstrated by their constant mortality rate at any age; b) in our species, studied in wild conditions, the increase in age-related mortality is precedent to cancer-related deaths cases and it is impossible that defenses against cancer kill before cancer can develop; c) shortened telomeres, as a result of telomerase inactivity, cause dysfunctional telomere-induced instability and so the likelihood of cancer increases; d) in normal mice, telomerase expression delays aging but does not increase cancer risk. Telomerase activation is documented in many cases of cancer, but this is…show more content…
In particular: a) species which show no aging (“animals with negligible senescence”) show the same telomerase activity at any age and have no cancer problem, as demonstrated by their constant mortality rate at any age; b) in our species, studied in wild conditions, the increase in age-related mortality is precedent to cancer-related deaths cases and it is impossible that defenses against cancer kill before cancer can develop; c) shortened telomeres, as a result of telomerase inactivity, cause dysfunctional telomere-induced instability and so the likelihood of cancer increases; d) in normal mice, telomerase expression delays aging but does not increase cancer risk. Telomerase activation is documented in many cases of cancer, but this is a consequence of the malignant proliferative mechanisms and not a cause of them. However, the persistence of concepts derived from the old paradigm of aging as non-adaptive phenomenon maintains the fear of increased oncogenic risk by telomerase activation. On the contrary, for the new paradigm that defines aging as a type of phenoptosis, this fear appears unmotivated from a theoretical point of view and empirical data contrasting it are accepted without hesitation. Therefore, the controlled activation of the enzyme telomerase appears the main way to increase longevity, even to the point of indefinite longevity, i.e. mortality only by reasons other than aging. A specific feasible project to examine this has been proposed. In this

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