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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2009 Dec;58(12):1909-17. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0639-6. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Why do centenarians escape or postpone cancer? The role of IGF-1, inflammation and p53.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. stefano.salvioli@unibo.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Centenarians are exceptionally long living individuals who escaped the most common age-related diseases. In particular they appear to be effectively protected from cancers. The mechanisms that underlie this protection are quite complex and still largely unclear.

AIM:

To critically analyse the literature in order to propose a unifying hypothesis that can account for this cancer protection in centenarians.

METHODS:

Review of the scientific literature regarding three main players in tumourigenesis such as IGF-1, inflammation and p53, and centenarians.

RESULTS:

Centenarians appear to be characterised by low IGF-1-mediated responses and high levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and TGF-beta, a condition that results in protection from cancer. Both inflammation and IGF-1 pathway converge on the tumour suppressor p53. Accordingly, some studies indicate that genetic variants of p53 are associated with human longevity by providing protection from cancer mortality.

CONCLUSIONS:

The available data let us to hypothesise that among other possible mechanisms, well-preserved p53-mediated responses are likely a key factor contributing to protection from cancer in centenarians.

PMID:
19139887
DOI:
10.1007/s00262-008-0639-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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