Research Perspectives:

Common drugs and treatments for cancer and age-related diseases: revitalizing answers to NCI’s provocative questions

Mikhail V. Blagosklonny _

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Oncotarget. 2012; 3:1711-1724. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.890

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Mikhail V. Blagosklonny1

1 Department of Cell Stress Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY, USA


Mikhail V. Blagosklonny, email:

Keywords: cancer, aging, senescence, science

Received: December 21, 2012, Accepted: December 30, 2012, Published: December 30, 2012


In 2011, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced 24 provocative questions on cancer. Some of these questions have been already answered in “NCI’s provocative questions on cancer: some answers to ignite discussion” (published in Oncotarget, 2011, 2: 1352.) The questions included “Why do many cancer cells die when suddenly deprived of a protein encoded by an oncogene?” “Can we extend patient survival by using approaches that keep tumors static?” “Why are some disseminated cancers cured by chemotherapy alone?” “Can we develop methods to rapidly test interventions for cancer treatment or prevention?” “Can we use our knowledge of aging to enhance prevention or treatment of cancer?” “What is the mechanism by which some drugs commonly and chronically used for other indications protect against cancer?” “How does obesity contribute to cancer risk?” I devoted a single subchapter to each the answer. As expected, the provocative questions were very diverse and numerous. Now I choose and combine, as a single problem, only three last questions, all related to common mechanisms and treatment of age-related diseases including obesity and cancer. Can we use common existing drugs for cancer prevention and treatment? Can we use some targeted “cancer-selective” agents for other diseases and … aging itself.

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