Short-term gain, long-term pain: the senescence life cycle and cancer

Genes Dev. 2019 Feb 1;33(3-4):127-143. doi: 10.1101/gad.320937.118.


Originally thought of as a stress response end point, the view of cellular senescence has since evolved into one encompassing a wide range of physiological and pathological functions, including both protumorignic and antitumorigenic features. It has also become evident that senescence is a highly dynamic and heterogenous process. Efforts to reconcile the beneficial and detrimental features of senescence suggest that physiological functions require the transient presence of senescent cells in the tissue microenvironment. Here, we propose the concept of a physiological "senescence life cycle," which has pathological consequences if not executed in its entirety.

Keywords: cancer; epigenetics; inflammation; senescence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cellular Microenvironment / physiology
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Epigenomics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / physiopathology
  • Telomere Shortening