Radiotherapy accelerates biological aging in head and neck cancer patients

Radiation accelerates biological aging in head and neck cancer

Canhua Xiao (RN, PhD) and her colleagues at Emory University School of Nursing, Atlanta, found that epigenetic-age acceleration (EAA), which is a measure of the rate of aging, has increased significantly over time. The biggest increase, 4.9, was seen after radiotherapy.

Cancer reported that the study showed EAA to be associated with increased inflammation and fatigue even up until a year following treatment.

Xiao, a researcher at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and his colleagues noted that while chronological age is a significant risk factor for chronic diseases, it differs often from epigenetic aging and may only be a partial predictor. They also noted that epigenetic clocks based on measures of blood DNA methylation have proven to be reliable biomarkers for aging.


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