07/13/2010 // US // Get Cancer Answers // News Desk

U.S. – A new study suggests aging cells may contribute to an increase in cancer risks. As reported by WebMD Health News, researchers found that the length of telomeres, which play a key role in the repair of cell DNA, may be indicative of an aging immune system, and contribute to a number of health complications.

Peter Willeit, MD, of Austria’s Innsbruck Medical University, and colleagues, are quoted in the report as stating of their findings, “Of note, telomere length was preferentially associated with individual cancers characterized by a high fatality rate such as gastric, lung, and ovarian cancer — but less so with tumors linked to better prognosis.”

More information about the Willeit study may be found in the July 7 publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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