Review Volume 11, Issue 24 pp 12844—12861
Targeting senescent cells: approaches, opportunities, challenges
- 1 Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CBMSO), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain
received: September 27, 2019 ; accepted: November 20, 2019 ; published: November 30, 2019 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102557
How to Cite
Copyright © 2019 von Kobbe. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Cellular senescence is a hallmark of aging, whose onset is linked to a series of both cell and non-cell autonomous processes, leading to several consequences for the organism. To date, several senescence routes have been identified, which play a fundamental role in development, tumor suppression and aging, among other processes. The positive and/or negative effects of senescent cells are directly related to the time that they remain in the organism. Short-term (acute) senescent cells are associated with positive effects; once they have executed their actions, immune cells are recruited to remove them. In contrast, long-term (chronic) senescent cells are associated with disease; they secrete pro-inflammatory and pro-tumorigenic factors in a state known as senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). In recent years, cellular senescence has become the center of attention for the treatment of aging-related diseases. Current therapies are focused on elimination of senescent cell functions in three main ways: i) use of senolytics; ii) inhibition of SASP; and iii) improvement of immune system functions against senescent cells (immunosurveillance). In addition, some anti-cancer therapies are based on the induction of senescence in tumor cells. However, these senescent-like cancer cells must be subsequently cleared to avoid a chronic pro-tumorigenic state. Here is a summary of different scenarios, depending on the therapy used, with a discussion of the pros and cons of each scenario.