CRI Funded Scientists

Valentin J. A. Barthet, PhD, CRI Postdoctoral Fellow

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Area of Research: All Cancers

Dr. Valentin J. A. Barthet is studying the role of aging in cancer to improve immunotherapy strategies for elderly patients.

Age is one of the most important risk factors for cancer, with people over 65 years old being eleven times more likely to develop a tumor. Cancers arising in older people are often more aggressive and metastatic, and thus there is an urgent need to understand the role of aging in cancer. Throughout our lives, in addition to the natural decline of or immune system over time, our cells can also undergo senescence, a cellular program brought on by different types of cellular stresses, including cancer. Senescent cells halt their proliferation and start secreting factors that impact neighboring cells, including immune cells. As we age, senescent cells accumulate in our body and they are linked to different age-related diseases, including cancer. The clearance of senescent cells by the immune system is important to restore normal tissue physiology.

In this proposal, Dr. Barthet aims to determine how the mechanisms of senescence and immune surveillance of cancer change with age. Ultimately, he hopes his findings will pave the way for the design of better strategies to target to target aging and senescent cells to increase the immune system’s anti-tumor capabilities in elderly patients.

Projects and Grants

Dissecting the immunomodulatory effect of senescence in age-related response to oncogenic stress

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | All cancers | 2023 | Scott Lowe, PhD

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