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NCI Cancer Center News

Penn study finds cancer suppressor gene links metabolism with cellular aging

  • Posted: January 14, 2013

It is perhaps impossible to overstate the importance of the tumor suppressor gene p53. It is the single most frequently mutated gene in human tumors. p53 keeps pre-cancerous cells in check by causing cells, among other things, to become senescent – aging at the cellular level. Loss of p53 causes cells to ignore the cellular signals that would normally make mutant or damaged cells die or stop growing. Now, a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (home of the Abramson Cancer Center), has identified a class of p53 target genes and regulatory molecules that represent more promising therapeutic candidates.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.