OncoSENS - Stopping Cancer at the Starting Line
Narrated by actor Edward James Olmos, this video describes one of the body’s critical anti-cancer defences – the telomeres. These caps on the ends of our chromosomes shorten each time a cell divides and, when they become too short, trigger the cell to self-destruct. When a cell grows too rapidly, it and all of its descendants normally suffer this fate. Such growths are sometimes called “pre-cancer”. Since our stem cells need to be able to divide without this constraint in order to replace cells lost across the body, they produce the enzyme telomerase to re-extend their telomeres. Unfortunately, a small number of pre-cancerous cells manage to activate their own copies of the telomerase gene, escaping the limit on their growth. SENS Research Foundation is developing therapies to completely block telomere extension in pre-cancerous cells, ensuring the body’s existing defences can function as intended.