Aging and Senescence in Cancer Immunity

Project ITAT-11-018


  • SENECA Team at PLUS:

    • Fritz ABERGER (Principal Investigator)
    • Lisa TRATTNER (Research Fellow)
    • Anna EGLSEER (Technician)
    • Elisabeth KALCHSCHMIED (Administrative Support)
  • Partner and institutions:

    • Claudio BRANCOLINI (Lead), (University of Udine, Italy)
    • Fulvia FELLUGA (University of Triest, Italy)
    • Chris WEICHENBERGER (EURAC, Bozen, Italy)


As the population ages, the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases, such as cancer, is becoming a central healthcare issue. The risk of developing cancer increases dramatically with age. Cellular aging processes, known as senescence, play a causal role. Senescence also affects large parts of the immune system. This aging process leads to reduced functionality of the immune system and, due to weakened anti-tumor activity, to an increased risk of cancer in old age. The aim of the SENECA project is to decipher these aging processes and to research new therapeutic agents against cancer. The strengths of the SENECA network lie in the complementary and synergistic expertise of the partners involved, who have already worked together successfully in collaborative projects. By integrating multidisciplinary approaches, coupled with targeted training of young scientists and broad dissemination strategies, SENECA will make a sustainable contribution to strengthening the research and innovation competence of cross-border regions in the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases.