The dynamic nature of senescence in cancer

Abstract

Cellular senescence is implicated in physiological and pathological processes spanning development, wound healing, age-related decline in organ functions and cancer. Here, we discuss cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous properties of senescence in the context of tumour formation and anticancer therapy, and characterize these properties, such as reprogramming into stemness, tissue remodelling and immune crosstalk, as far more dynamic than suggested by the common view of senescence as an irreversible, static condition.

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Fig. 1: Global and focal chromatin remodelling in senescence.
Fig. 2: Cytoplasmic deregulation of proteostasis and secretion.
Fig. 3: Environmental crosstalk following senescence induction by oncogenes or anticancer therapy.
Fig. 4: The in vivo dynamics of various aspects of senescence in cancer control and progression.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants to C.A.S. from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SCHM 1633/9-1 and SCHM 1633/11-1), by the Helmholtz Alliance ‘Preclinical Comprehensive Cancer Center’ grant (no. HA-305) from the Helmholtz Association and by the Deutsche Krebshilfe (grant no. 110678). This work was further made possible by the Berlin School of Integrative Oncology (BSIO) graduate program, funded within the German Excellence Initiative and the German Cancer Consortium (GCC), to S.L. and C.A.S.

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Correspondence to Clemens A. Schmitt.

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Lee, S., Schmitt, C.A. The dynamic nature of senescence in cancer. Nat Cell Biol 21, 94–101 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41556-018-0249-2

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