The importance of immunesenescence in the incidence and malignant properties of cancer in hosts of advanced age

Paul Kaesberg, W. B. Ershler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Profound changes in the biology of cancer occur as people and experimental animals age. Many naturally occurring tumors in humans and experimental animals show lower growth with advancing age and longer host survival. The most likely cause for this alteration in tumor biology is the universal phenomenon of cellular immunesenescence. At the onset of sexual maturation, the thymus beings to involute. With this involution, a progressive decline is observed in T-cell functions, e.g., lymphokine production, response to mitogens, and response to antigenic stimulation. It has been proposed that the immune system plays an important role in the stimulation of tumor growth. This role in poorly antigenic tumors may overshadow the role of the immune system as a tumor suppressor. It has been shown that poorly antigenic murine tumors grow more slowly in immune deficient or aged mice. Human tumors are generally poorly antigenic and many (such as lung, breast, and colon carcinomas) also show decreased growth rates in older adults. This article describes age-related changes in the immune system and discusses the theories of immune enhancement of tumor growth. Consideration is also given to the explanation of increased incidence of cancer in elderly patients and the potential role of the immune system in this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Volume44
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Incidence
Neoplasms
Immune System
Growth
Immune System Phenomena
Sexual Maturation
Lymphokines
Mitogens
Thymus Gland
Colon
Breast Neoplasms
T-Lymphocytes
Lung
Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

Cite this

The importance of immunesenescence in the incidence and malignant properties of cancer in hosts of advanced age. / Kaesberg, Paul; Ershler, W. B.

In: Journals of Gerontology, Vol. 44, No. 6, 1989, p. 63-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6a6537ce48704adbaab464abd68264fa,
title = "The importance of immunesenescence in the incidence and malignant properties of cancer in hosts of advanced age",
abstract = "Profound changes in the biology of cancer occur as people and experimental animals age. Many naturally occurring tumors in humans and experimental animals show lower growth with advancing age and longer host survival. The most likely cause for this alteration in tumor biology is the universal phenomenon of cellular immunesenescence. At the onset of sexual maturation, the thymus beings to involute. With this involution, a progressive decline is observed in T-cell functions, e.g., lymphokine production, response to mitogens, and response to antigenic stimulation. It has been proposed that the immune system plays an important role in the stimulation of tumor growth. This role in poorly antigenic tumors may overshadow the role of the immune system as a tumor suppressor. It has been shown that poorly antigenic murine tumors grow more slowly in immune deficient or aged mice. Human tumors are generally poorly antigenic and many (such as lung, breast, and colon carcinomas) also show decreased growth rates in older adults. This article describes age-related changes in the immune system and discusses the theories of immune enhancement of tumor growth. Consideration is also given to the explanation of increased incidence of cancer in elderly patients and the potential role of the immune system in this phenomenon.",
author = "Paul Kaesberg and Ershler, {W. B.}",
year = "1989",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "63--66",
journal = "Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences",
issn = "0022-1422",
publisher = "Gerontological Society of America",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The importance of immunesenescence in the incidence and malignant properties of cancer in hosts of advanced age

AU - Kaesberg, Paul

AU - Ershler, W. B.

PY - 1989

Y1 - 1989

N2 - Profound changes in the biology of cancer occur as people and experimental animals age. Many naturally occurring tumors in humans and experimental animals show lower growth with advancing age and longer host survival. The most likely cause for this alteration in tumor biology is the universal phenomenon of cellular immunesenescence. At the onset of sexual maturation, the thymus beings to involute. With this involution, a progressive decline is observed in T-cell functions, e.g., lymphokine production, response to mitogens, and response to antigenic stimulation. It has been proposed that the immune system plays an important role in the stimulation of tumor growth. This role in poorly antigenic tumors may overshadow the role of the immune system as a tumor suppressor. It has been shown that poorly antigenic murine tumors grow more slowly in immune deficient or aged mice. Human tumors are generally poorly antigenic and many (such as lung, breast, and colon carcinomas) also show decreased growth rates in older adults. This article describes age-related changes in the immune system and discusses the theories of immune enhancement of tumor growth. Consideration is also given to the explanation of increased incidence of cancer in elderly patients and the potential role of the immune system in this phenomenon.

AB - Profound changes in the biology of cancer occur as people and experimental animals age. Many naturally occurring tumors in humans and experimental animals show lower growth with advancing age and longer host survival. The most likely cause for this alteration in tumor biology is the universal phenomenon of cellular immunesenescence. At the onset of sexual maturation, the thymus beings to involute. With this involution, a progressive decline is observed in T-cell functions, e.g., lymphokine production, response to mitogens, and response to antigenic stimulation. It has been proposed that the immune system plays an important role in the stimulation of tumor growth. This role in poorly antigenic tumors may overshadow the role of the immune system as a tumor suppressor. It has been shown that poorly antigenic murine tumors grow more slowly in immune deficient or aged mice. Human tumors are generally poorly antigenic and many (such as lung, breast, and colon carcinomas) also show decreased growth rates in older adults. This article describes age-related changes in the immune system and discusses the theories of immune enhancement of tumor growth. Consideration is also given to the explanation of increased incidence of cancer in elderly patients and the potential role of the immune system in this phenomenon.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0024447506&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0024447506&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 2681365

AN - SCOPUS:0024447506

VL - 44

SP - 63

EP - 66

JO - Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences

JF - Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences

SN - 0022-1422

IS - 6

ER -