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SENECA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 37312
Country: Poland

Linking cancer to ageing

Nearly 75 % of diagnosed cancers occur among people over the age of 65 suggesting that cellular ageing maybe an important determinant in tumour formation. A European initiative organised a conference to disseminate information on the relationship between biological ageing and cancer.
Linking cancer to ageing
Scientists are beginning to understand that biological ageing plays an integral part in cancer development. Cancer cells undergo extensive proliferation and avoid senescence, suggesting a link with biological ageing mechanisms.

Seeking to improve the awareness of ageing and cancer, the EU-funded initiative ‘From cellular senescence and cell death to cancer and ageing’ (Seneca) organised a conference to bring together researchers in the two fields of cancer and ageing and stimulate cooperation. The conference took place from 4–6 October 2007 in Warsaw, Poland and leading scientists in the field attended. Topics discussed included maintenance of genomic integrity, cell death and cellular senescence, immunosenescence and immunotherapy, stem cells and host-tumour relationships.

An important aspect of the conference was the participation of representatives from industry, funding agencies, government and health policymakers. The main focus was to disseminate knowledge on cancer and ageing, hoping to redefine molecular targets and improve cancer prevention and therapeutics in the ageing population.

The proceedings of the conference were published in the EMBO Reports journal. The conference also inspired a position paper titled 'Immunity, cancer and ageing' which was published in the BMC / Springer Open-Access journal Immunity & Aging. Furthermore, a special issue of the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development included 17 peer reviewed papers provided by speakers at the conference.

The Seneca effort paved the way for future interaction, networking, and collaboration between the research fields of cancer and ageing. Exciting research data arising from such collaborations will hopefully lead to improved cancer treatment options.

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