Inside and out: the activities of senescence in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2014 Aug;14(8):547-58. doi: 10.1038/nrc3773. Epub 2014 Jul 17.


The core aspect of the senescent phenotype is a stable state of cell cycle arrest. However, this is a disguise that conceals a highly active metabolic cell state with diverse functionality. Both the cell-autonomous and the non-cell-autonomous activities of senescent cells create spatiotemporally dynamic and context-dependent tissue reactions. For example, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) provokes not only tumour-suppressive but also tumour-promoting responses. Senescence is now increasingly considered to be an integrated and widespread component that is potentially important for tumour development, tumour suppression and the response to therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment