Cancer-causing agents multiply with age, according to a new study
The researchers found that the cells were accumulating a substance called methylmalonic (MMA) – a metabolic product which appears to increase with age.
How does MMA cause these changes in cancerous cells? The key appears to be a sort of \”reprogramming\” that \”switches-on\” a SOX4 gene.
Research has shown that SOX4 can encourage cancer cells to be more aggressive and susceptible to metastasis.
The team tested whether SOX4 was the cause of the change in the quality of cancer cells by blocking the expression of the gene. They found that MMA had no effect.
\”Blocking SOX4 stopped the cancer cells from being able to resist the two cancer treatments.\”
As we age, our bodies produce waste as they convert food to energy. Recent research has shown that one of the metabolic waste products can play a deadly role in cancer development.
This finding not only adds to the body of knowledge on how the aging process increases our risk of deadly cancers but also suggests potential ways of blocking tumors that metastasize.
The study published in Nature on Wednesday grew out of work done on metastasis – the process whereby cancer cells separate from a primary tumor and form new tumors elsewhere.