The international Cell Senescence association (ICSA) held a four-day conférence at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Some giants in the world of anti-aging science were there such as Judith Campisi and Manuel Serrano, and some giant results where presented. For example, Manuel Serrano showed how transient yamanaka factors in vivo induce partial reprogramming and regeneration of tissues: How to make young tissues from old ones without surgery! The technique is not fine tuned yet but carries promise of a potential reversal of aging soon. He also showed how after tumors are irradiated and become senescent a new nanoparticle delivery system is able to selectively destroy tumors. Judith Campisi noted that it is not all about senescent cells however, the lack of skin stem cells with aging for exemple indicate that even if cancer and aging were to a substantial extent soon treated with such approaches, other work would remain.
Some of the other work presented showed that cell senescence has multiple factors, so it is not always simply a question of aiming to remove them all from the body. For example the presence of senescent cells may have beneficial effects at particular times, notably in tumour suppression and wound healing. However it is the persistant accumulation of senescent cells in the body that is understood to contribute to pathologies of aging. It was also noted that in some organs like the brain, many of the cells in an older person are senescent, so simply removing them all in that case may not be a solution, as the organ may not be functional without them. Care needs therefore to be taken in working out the best potential therapeutic approaches.
There were about 250 researchers in the room. The International Longevity Alliance was presented, here are the slides:
Everyone was invited to join a walk through Paris organised by the ILA on Saturday. Many answered that they were leaving before (the walk represented a fifth day that was only decided on during the conference) but they were supportive of volunteers willing to help researchers and doing lobbying or advocacy.
The event also included a well-attended session open to the public at the end of the final day in which a panel of some of the speakers from the conference, chaired by Oliver Bischoff, answered questions asked by the audience in both English and French. It opened with a talk by Eric Gilson of Ircan in Nice, France, who presented some basic information about the significance of senescent cells on both cancer and aging.