The Age of Cancer

A striking link exists between advanced age and increased incidence of cancer. Here I review how several of the age-related molecular and physiological changes might act in concert to promote cancer, and in particular epithelial carcinogenesis. Experimental data indicate that the aged, cancer-prone phenotype might represent the combined pathogenetic effects of mutation load, epigenetic regulation, telomere dysfunction and altered stromal milieu. Further verification of the role of these effects should in turn lead to the design of effective therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of cancer in the aged.

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