For decades, the complement system, the central pillar of innate immune response, was recognized as a protective mechanism against cancer cells and the manipulation of complement effector functions in cancer setting offered a great opportunity to improve monoclonal antibody-based cancer immunotherapies. Similarly, cellular senescence, the process of cell cycle arrest that allow DNA and tissue repair has been traditionally thought to be able to suppress tumor progression. However, in recent years, extensive research has identified the complement system and cellular senescence as two main inducers of tumour growth in the context of chronic, persistent inflammation named inflammaging. Here, we discuss the data describing the ambivalent role of senescence in cancer with a particular focus on tumors that are strongly dependent on complement activation and can be understood by a new, senescence-related point of view: prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma.
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