Understanding the molecular mechanisms linking aging and cancer

In recent years, cancer has become the leading cause of death among Japanese people. This is mainly due to changes in diet and living environment, but the increase in life expectancy is also considered to be a major factor. Until 1950, the average life expectancy for both men and women in Japan was about 60 years, but it is now 87 years for women and 81 years for men, and it continues to increase at a rate of 3 months/year. Since the incidence of cancer tends to increase with age, it is not surprising that the incidence of cancer has increased along with the increase in average life expectancy. However, it is not well understood why the risk of cancer increases with age. We believe that one of the keys to solving this problem lies in the phenomenon of "cellular senescence," and we are conducting research aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence and its control. Through these studies, we hope to contribute to the development of effective preventive and therapeutic methods for age-related diseases, including cancer.

Eiji Hara, Ph.D.

Department of Molecular Microbiology,
Research Institute for Microbial Diseases,
Osaka University

Last Update: 2024.4.16

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