Are autologous anti-ageing vaccines possible?

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jun 15 09:56:16 EST 2000

Lou Pagnucco wrote:

> Assuming that accumulation of senescent fibroblasts is indeed
> responsible for many of the most irksome manifestations of aging, is it
> possible that using the same techniques that Avax, Inc (see below) has
> used to make melanoma cells visible to the immune system, we could
> employ the immune system to eliminate senescent fibroblasts?  i.e.,
> given enough senescent fibroblasts could we create an autologous cell
> vaccine that would purge our tissues of these fibroblasts?

I think this has definite potential.  Vascular accessibility may be a
problem but it's not obviously an insumountable one.

Judy Campisi is presently investigating the targeting of pro-apoptotic
stimuli to senescent cells.  This has its own problems since some cell
types have been reported to become resistant to apoptosis when they
approach replicative senescence.  AVAX's related approach could turn
out to be applicable to cell types that are resistant to apoptosis,
so a combination of the two might be the best approach.  I was not
aware of this work - thanks for posting it.  I encourage people to
look at the publications it has produced: the main ones seem to be
Berd et al, J Clin Oncol 15:2359 and Semin Oncol 25:646.  A related
study by a different group -- Elias et al, J Surg Oncol 64:17 --
also seems very valuable.

Aubrey de Grey

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