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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 963172, 15 pages
Review Article

Regulation of Senescence in Cancer and Aging

Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, S7-125, Worcester, MA 01655, USA

Received 15 December 2010; Accepted 12 January 2011

Academic Editor: Amancio Carnero

Copyright © 2011 Yahui Kong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Senescence is regarded as a physiological response of cells to stress, including telomere dysfunction, aberrant oncogenic activation, DNA damage, and oxidative stress. This stress response has an antagonistically pleiotropic effect to organisms: beneficial as a tumor suppressor, but detrimental by contributing to aging. The emergence of senescence as an effective tumor suppression mechanism is highlighted by recent demonstration that senescence prevents proliferation of cells at risk of neoplastic transformation. Consequently, induction of senescence is recognized as a potential treatment of cancer. Substantial evidence also suggests that senescence plays an important role in aging, particularly in aging of stem cells. In this paper, we will discuss the molecular regulation of senescence its role in cancer and aging. The potential utility of senescence in cancer therapeutics will also be discussed.