Cervical cancer survival may improve by targeting senescent ‘zombie’ cells

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Drs. Jin-Xiong She and Sharad Purohit. Credit: Kim Ratliff, Production Coordinator, Augusta University

(Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University/ Medical Xpress) — How well women with cervical cancer respond to treatment and survive correlates with the level of 10 proteins in their blood that also are associated with a “zombie” cell state called senescence, Medical College of Georgia scientists report.

They looked at pretreatment levels of these proteins in the blood of 565 Peruvian women with stage 2 and 3 cervical cancer, who received standard treatments of internal radiation, called brachytherapy, external radiation or both.

They found that women with low levels of the proteins secreted by senescent cells had higher survival rates than those with high levels of these senescence-associated secreted phenotypes, or SASPs. (…)

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