La senescence cellulaire comme méchanisme de suppression tumorale

Chercheurs nationaux | Concours 2012-2013

Gerardo Ferbeyre

Université de Montréal


Field : Cancer

Living organisms have evolved efficient genetic programs to avoid the expansion of cells bearing oncogenic threats. Our laboratory focuses on one of those programs known as cellular senescence. Cellular senescence is a viable block in cell proliferation that avoids the expansion of cells bearing cancer causing genetic modifications or extensive DNA damage. One example of successful control of malignant transformation by cellular senescence is the phenomenon of benign tumors, which we know now are mainly composed of senescent cells and do not progress to malignant tumors. Our work is aimed to pinpoint new components of the senescence program, determine the mechanisms that control the process, discovers markers to detect these cells in patients and identify drugs that can induce senescence for an eventual cancer treatment. We believe that our results can be used to propose innovative anticancer therapeutics aimed to avoid the growth of cancer cells by reinstating cellular senescence. In other words, we hope eventually to turn malignant tumors into benign tumors.