Logo Istituto Affiliato

Institute of Oncology Research (IOR),

affiliated to USI,

run by an


foundation with the same name


Research Areas - Senescence and Senolytics

Cellular senescence = cellular defense mechanism
Identification of senolytics for cancer and aging-related disorders
Mechanisms of senescence induction and survival
Role of senescent cells in metastases formation

Senescence and Senolytics

Cells subjected to elevated stress, such as treatment with anti-cancer therapies, remain suspended between life and death, a condition known as cellular senescence. The senescence unit works on the different aspects of this cellular status, focusing on the interactions of senescent cells and the tumour immune response (Di Mitri, Nature 2014, Toso Cell Reports 2014). Over the later years, the laboratory has contributed to identifying pro-senescent and senolytics compounds to treat prostate cancer. Using different mouse models, the unit has recently reported that senescent tumour cells contribute to metastatic dissemination in prostate cancer and that elimination of these cells blocks metastases in mice treated with chemotherapy-induced senescence (Guccini I, Cancer Cell 2021; Troiani M Nat Comm 2022). The unit has also designed a new bioinformatic tool to detect and characterize senescent prostate tumour cells using 10x single cells analysis (Troiani M Nat Comm 2022). A comprehensive approach to senescence establishment, maintenance, and interaction with other cell populations within the tumour is the senescence unit's primary object of study.