Y.E.S. News

Chemotherapy Accelerates ‘Molecular Aging’

Physicians have long suspected that chemotherapy can accelerate the aging process in patients treated for cancer.

Researchers measured the level of p16, a protein that causes cellular aging, in the blood of women over the age of 50 who had undergone chemotherapy for curable breast cancer. The analysis showed that curative chemotherapy also caused an increase in a patient’s molecular age that on average was equivalent to 15 years of normal aging.

The theory is that if you have an advanced molecular age to begin with (high level of p16 before treatment), it will be harder to tolerate chemotherapy. In addition, patients will have a harder time making new blood cells after treatments, therefore, they will be at greater risk for anemia and infection during therapy.

While these findings are highly provocative, there is much more to study and verify in future trials how these changes in molecular aging affect long-term survival.

Resource: AAHF

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