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Cancer-boosting cells multiply with age, says study


TOKYO: A new study has found that the cancer-boosting cells multiply with age as these cells produce debris that accumulates as we age.

The research shows that one of these metabolic throwaways plays a potentially deadly role in the development of cancer. The study adds the ways in which the aging process accelerates our body chances of developing deadly cancers, but also offers potential avenues for blocking metastasizing tumours.

The process by which cancer cells detach from an initial tumour and former new tumours elsewhere in the body. The study of metastasizing cells revealed something intriguing, a high level of something called methylmalonic acid, a metabolic byproduct that accumulates as we get older.

In 25 of the 30 blood samples from younger donors, the cancer cells displayed no change, but in 25 of the 30 older blood samples, the cells started to display different characteristics.

They developed increased “migratory and invasive capacity”, as well as resistance to two drugs often used to treat cancers, the study found. 


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