Genetic mutations that increase lifespan also seem to be particularly good at fighting tumours, a worm study suggests. The finding could shed light on why cancer risk increases as we get older, and may also suggest new targets for cancer therapeutics.
You might expect that genes that promote long life and fight cancer would go hand-in-hand: a gene that protects against tumours would help to stop cancer from killing you, after all, so you would probably live longer. But it seems that the relationship is more complicated than that. Genes that make some animals live longer through non-cancer-related mechanisms also seem to have a particular skill for suppressing tumours.