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Review ArticleMolecular Origins of CancerFree Preview

DNA Damage, Aging, and Cancer

List of authors.
  • Jan H.J. Hoeijmakers, Ph.D.

This review gives an account of how the cell repairs DNA damage and presents evidence that DNA damage contributes to aging and cancer, with the outcome dependent on the type and number of lesions in DNA. Examples of accelerated aging syndromes associated with defects in DNA repair mechanisms are contrasted with cancers.

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Funding and Disclosures

Dr. Hoeijmakers reports owning equity in Pharming; receiving grant support from the Dutch Science Organization, Medical Sciences, the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, the European Commission (Integrated Project on DNA Repair and LifeSpan, EU-LSHG-CT-2007-036894), the National Institutes of Health (1PO1AG17242-02), the Dutch Cancer Society, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer; developing inventions for which Erasmus University holds two pending patents (numbers WO2007133076 and EP1815245); and serving as chief scientific officer of DNage BV.

No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

This article (10.1056/NEJMra0804615) was updated on November 4, 2009, at NEJM.org.

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Genetics, Cancer Genomics Center, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Address reprint requests to Dr. Hoeijmakers at the Department of Genetics, Cancer Genomics Center, Erasmus University Medical Center, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, the Netherlands, or at .

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