mTOR and aging appear to have co-evolved in eukaryotes, suggesting that cancer would be inexorably linked to these fundamental aspects of life. We argue this is a perilous linkage, although there is an opportunity to suppress cancer and aging as Shakespeare said of red kites attacking chickens “as one fell swoop,” which up to now might have seemed fantastical. We review current knowledge concerning the role of mTOR in both aging and cancer and proof of concept results indicating that rapamycin, or similar inhibitors, should be considered for this “down to earth” application. We also discuss the immunosuppression controversy regarding chronic rapamycin use in longevity and cancer prevention and argue that this putative caveat is not supported by available evidence. If we are going to get serious about a looming economic burden of the aging population and their associated diseases (like cancer), we might need to consider approaches that prevent or treat more than one disease at a time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)