Therapy-induced polyploidization and senescence: Coincidence or interconnection?

Semin Cancer Biol. 2022 Jun:81:83-95. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2020.11.015. Epub 2020 Dec 1.


Polyploid somatic cells have 'programmed' roles in normal development and stress responses. Transient polyploidy states have been observed in several tumor types at early stages of tumorigenesis. They can give rise to the aneuploidy state which is a common feature of human cancer cells. Similarly, to cancer development, cancer treatment can lead to transient polyploidy. Polyploid giant cells (PGCCs) in cancer are often associated with poor prognosis and disease relapse. Cancer cell senescence- a proliferation arrest accompanied by a set of characteristic markers- induced by therapy is also associated with transient polyploidy formation and cancer relapse. The question is whether therapy-induced senescence (TIS) and therapy induced polyploidy (TIP) are mechanistically or coincidentally connected. This problem needs to be solved rather urgently, because TIS appears to be more common phenomena than originally believed. Another arising question concerns reversibility of cancer cell senescence as a consequence of atypical divisions of polyploid cells. In our review we will try to answer this fundamental question by referring to published literature and to our own studies.

Keywords: Amitotic divisions; PGCCs; Senescence escape; Therapy-induced senescence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cellular Senescence* / genetics
  • Giant Cells
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local* / pathology
  • Polyploidy