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Understanding the mechanism of cancer development
Creating the method for cancer prevention
Recently, epidemiological studies revealed that one in two people in most developed countries develop cancer. It is therefore very important to understand the mechanism of cancer development and to create the effective method for cancer prevention.
We have been studying on cellular senescence, an irreversible cell proliferation arrest, provoked by oncogenic impulse that causes DNA damage. The cellular senescence is thought to be a fail-safe mechanism preventing the proliferation of abnormal cells that might transform into cancer cells. Recently, however, it has been shown that senescent cells have a potential to secrete an inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and matrix remodeling factors. This newly identified phenotype of cellular senescence is called senescence-associated secretory phenotype, or SASP, and is sometimes beneficial or deleterious depending on the biological context.
Recently, we found that myofibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment of obesity-associated liver cancer showed cellular senescence and tumor-promoting SASP (senescence –associated secretory phenotype). We are currently focusing on the role and the mechanisms of SASP in cancer development in vivo.