The stress response paradox: fighting degeneration at the cost of cancer

Sonja L.B. Arneaud, Peter M. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the modern research era, sequencing and high-throughput analysis have linked genetic factors with a multitude of disease states. Often times, the same cellular machinery is implicated in several different diseases and has made it challenging to drug a particular disease with minimal pleotropic consequences. It is intriguing to see how different fields of disease research can present such differing views when describing the same biological process, pathway, or molecule. As observations in one field converge with research in another, we gain a more complete picture of a biological system and can accurately assess the feasibility for translational science. As an example discussed here, modulating latent stress response pathways within the cell provides exciting therapeutic potential, however, opposing views have emerged in the fields of degenerative disease and cancer. This at first glance seems logical as suppression of degenerative disease entails maintaining cell viability, while cancer aims to enhance selective senescence and cell death. As both of these disciplines seek novel therapeutic interventions, we should not overlook how scientific biases involving one biological process may impact different disease paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4047-4055
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • aging
  • cancer
  • degeneration
  • heat shock factor
  • heat shock response
  • neurodegeneration
  • proteotoxic stress
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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