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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

When growth becomes a weakness

ETH researchers are clarifying what can happen when cells exceed their normal size and become senescent. The new findings could help to optimize cancer therapies.

Cells in which only division is suppressed (left) continue to grow and lose their ability to divide, whereas cells in which growth and division are suppressed do not. (Images: Sandhya Manohar / ETH Zürich))

In brief

  • If cells in cell cultures grow while being treated with division-​suppressing agents, their growth becomes excessive and they permanently lose their ability to divide.
  • However, if the cells are treated with a combination of division inhibitors and growth inhibitors, they remain capable of dividing after these substances have been discontinued.
  • The findings could be transferred to certain cancer therapies, but first need to be clinically tested and confirmed.

ETH News