Magazine article USA TODAY

Chemotherapy Induces Tumor Cell Aging. (Cancer)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Chemotherapy Induces Tumor Cell Aging. (Cancer)

Article excerpt

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that chemotherapy can permanently arrest the growth of tumor cells, countering a long-held view that the only way to stop cancer is to kill the proliferating cells. The tumor cells that stop dividing bear all the characteristics of senescent, or aged, cells, but that has both advantages and disadvantages. "Drug-induced arrest of cell division has long been considered only a stop-gap measure, because it was presumed the cells would eventually repair their damage and go on to divide again after treatment," explains Igor Roninson, professor of molecular genetics. "But we've found that many treated tumor cells that stop dividing don't start multiplying again later."

Investigators treated colon cancer cells with the commonly used anticancer drug doxorubicin. As happens with chemotherapy in cancer patients, some of the cells died, but others either survived and continued to grow or survived, but ceased dividing altogether. The cells that stopped dividing closely resembled normal cells that have lost their ability to grow because of senescence, the process of cellular aging. …

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