Genes can increase longevity, reduce cancer risk

Researchers at UC San Francisco are focusing on a group of genes that not only influence longevity but also reduce the risk of cancer. Analysts say that their work could lead to new therapeutics that would not only extend lives but also make sure that people could live longer without getting cancer. Age and cancer are closely related. A person who is 65 is 100 times more likely than a 35-year-old to get cancer. The researchers include biologist Cynthia Kenyon, who determined in 1993 that a change in the daf-2 gene could double the life span of a C. elegans roundworm.

"This is very exciting," Kenyon said. "There is a widely held view that any mechanism that slows aging would probably stimulate tumor growth. But we found many genes that increase lifespan, but slow tumor growth. Humans have versions of many of these genes, so this work may lead to treatments that keep us youthful and cancer-free much longer than normal."

- here's the release on the research work

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