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Cell Transplant. 2017 Sep;26(9):1530-1537. doi: 10.1177/0963689717721224.

Regenerative Medicine: Shedding Light on the Link between Aging and Cancer.

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1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Unit of Experimental Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.


The evidence linking aging and cancer is overwhelming. Findings emerging from the field of regenerative medicine reinforce the notion that aging and cancer are profoundly interrelated in their pathogenetic pathways. We discuss evidence to indicate that age-associated alterations in the tissue microenvironment contribute to the emergence of a neoplastic-prone tissue landscape, which is able to support the selective growth of preneoplastic cell populations. Interestingly, tissue contexts that are able to select for the growth of preneoplastic cells, including the aged liver microenvironment, are also supportive for the clonal expansion of normal, homotypic, transplanted cells. This suggests that the growth of normal and preneoplastic cells is possibly driven by similar mechanisms, implying that strategies based on principles of regenerative medicine might be applicable to modulate neoplastic disease.


aging; cancer; hepatocyte transplantation; regenerative medicine; tissue fitness

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