Tumour biology

Senescence in premalignant tumours

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Oncogene-induced senescence is a cellular response that may be crucial for protection against cancer development1,2, but its investigation has so far been restricted to cultured cells that have been manipulated to overexpress an oncogene. Here we analyse tumours initiated by an endogenous oncogene, ras, and show that senescent cells exist in premalignant tumours but not in malignant ones. Senescence is therefore a defining feature of premalignant tumours that could prove valuable in the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer.

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Figure 1: Premalignant lung adenomas induced by oncogenic K-ras are positive for markers of senescence, whereas malignant adenocarcinomas are negative.


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Correspondence to Manuel Serrano.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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