exciting times

Doug Skrecky (oberon@vcn.bc.ca)
Sat, 23 May 1998 17:04:46 -0700 (PDT)

We live in exciting times. IMHO, I think there is a possibility that
death from cancer may become a thing of the past during the next couple
of decades, with either endostatin/angiostatin or some other therapy.
I also suspect that combination therapies including potassium may be
effective in preventing, if not curing cardiovascular disease. The results
with potassium treatment of stroke-prone rodents are hard to believe.
Super high blood pressures, and little or no organ damage or mortality.
(Journal of Hypertension 2(Sup 3): 363-366 1984) EG: SHRSP rats mortality
reduced from 83% to 2%, and Dahl S rats from 55% to 4% with additional
I think many of us would-be life-extenders may have ignored the fact
that curing or preventing various diseases is a much easier task than
eliminating aging itself and that it is the former that is an absolute
prerequisite to a significantly increased life span. Even if aging is
completely prevented, little increase in human life spans may result if
plaque build-up in arteries is not also slowed.
Indeed I suspect this may be the general reason why aminoguanidine seems
to be ineffective in increasing life span in rodents, despite from all
appearances being successful in slowing down the aging process. These
animals die primarily from cancer, and even a successful anti-aging
intervention is not going to increase their life span, if it does not
reduce tumor growth. Ironically aminoguanidine is effective in preventing
cardiovascular and renal pathology, so it might be effective in extending
human life spans, even it does not benefit cancer prone rodents. (Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. 93: 3902-3907 1996)
I suspect the good results from caloric restriction in rodents may
not be primarily due to any putative anti-aging effect, but instead is due
directly to an anti-tumor effect. There is experimental data to support
this. (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 92: 67-82 1996)
To sum-up eliminating the primary diseases responsible for mortality is
a necessary precursor to significantly extended life spans.