Dr. Alvaro Macieira-Coelho is a Research Director at the French National Institute of Health. He received an MD from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD from the
University of Uppsala Sweden. He made an internship at the University Hospital in Lisbon and was a research associate at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia (USA) and
at the Department of Cell Biology of the University of Uppsala (Sweden). He became Head of the Department of Cell Pathology at the Cancer Institute in Villejuif (France)
and was a visiting Professor at the University of Linkoping (Sweden). He published 150 papers in professional Journals and 9 books on cancer and aging. He received
the following awards: Fritz Verzar Prize (University of Vienna, Austria), “Seeds of Science” Career Prize (Lisbon, Portugal), Dr. Honoris Causa (University of Linkoping,
Sweden), Johananof International Visiting Professor (Institute Mario Negri, Milano, Italy).
In general the scientific literature reports that aging favors the development of cancers. Each type of cancer however, initiates and
evolves differently and their natural history can start way back at earlier ages before their clinical manifestations. The incidence
of cancers is spread through the human life span, it is the result of pre- and post-natal aggressions, individual susceptibility, and
developmental changes that evolve continuously from the beginning to the end. Finally during human senescence the incidence
declines for all cancers. Frequently the progression of cancers is also slower in the old. There are several possible explanations for
this decline at the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. It is time to ask why some tumors are characteristic of the young, others of
maturity, others of the time of the decline of the reproductive period, and finally why the incidence of cancers declines late during
senescence of the human organism. These questions should be answered before the origin of cancers can be understood.