Senescence: a new weapon for cancer therapy

Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;22(4):211-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.11.006. Epub 2012 Jan 13.


Senescence is a stable cell cycle arrest that can be activated by oncogenic signaling and manifests with changes in cellular organization and gene expression, such as the induction of a complex secretome. Importantly, senescence limits tumor progression and determines the outcome of conventional anticancer therapies. In recent years, therapeutic approaches such as p53 reactivation, inhibition of c-MYC in addicted tumors or treatment with cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors have proven effective by invoking a senescence response. The possibility of using prosenescence therapies for cancer treatment has provoked considerable interest. We propose that the senescence secretome can be a source of novel targets for prosenescence therapies, as it has tumor suppressive actions. Overall, tailored prosenescence therapies have the potential to be used for treating cancer and other pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Phenotype