Ex-SASP-erating cancer

German researchers have identified a hypermetabolic phenotype in senescent tumor cells that exerts tumorigenic effects on other cells in the tumor microenvironment.1 Although the team showed that small molecule inhibitors of the phenotype reduced tumor growth and improved survival in a mouse model of lymphoma, future studies will need to determine whether the phenotype occurs in primary tumors.

Although tumor cells rendered senescent by chemotherapy are no longer malignant, they can still pose a problem for patients with cancer. Multiple preclinical studies have shown that chemotherapy-treated cancer cells can acquire the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) to produce inflammatory cytokines, growth factors and proteases. These factors can have tumorigenic effects on other cells in

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