Cancer incidence increases exponentially with age. This increase may result from less efficient and more error-prone DNA repair in older organisms. As a cell start to accumulate mutations in tumor-suppressors and oncogenes DNA repair may become even more error-prone. We use several approaches to study cancer and its relation to aging and DNA repair. We study DNA repair in breast cancer cells, in order to identify common alterations in repair pathways. We use comparative approach to identify tumor suppressors that evolved in long-lived and large animal species to protect them from cancer.
We study regulation of Rad51 gene, which plays a key role in DNA repair by homologous recombination. Rad51 is overexpressed in multiple cancer cell lines, and excess of Rad51 is associated with genomic instability.