• I met Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny, an M.D., Ph.D., studying cancer and aging, for the first time (thanks

    to David Sabatini for the introduction). While I didn’t get a chance to interview him for the podcast this time around, 

    we had an interesting conversation, and I look forward to interviewing him in the future. 

    Misha was one of the earliest proponents of using rapamycin for the purpose of longevity. In fact, he may have

    been one of the first to propose this idea.

    Misha’s 2006 paper, “Aging and Immortality: Quasi-Programmed Senescence and Its Pharmacologic Inhibition,” 

    was rejected by basically every major journal as being too far out there, though it was ultimately accepted in 

    a less prominent journal. He argued that aging is a “quasi-program” that results from a “continuation of 

    the developmental program that is not turned off, is constantly on, becoming hyper-functional and damaging, 

    causing diseases of aging.”

    He also made the case that inhibiting the TOR pathway can target cell senescence, aging, 

    and diseases of aging, and finding a drug that selectively targets this pathway is an excellent 

    candidate for an anti-aging drug. Given that “TOR” is literally “Target of Rapamycin,” 

    it’s no surprise that rapamycin may increase longevity.

    What is a little surprising to me is that the paper was published in 2006. 

    To put this in perspective, it would be three years before the first major study, in mammals (mice), 

    would demonstrate that rapamycin could meaningfully and significantly extend life.

    For a bit more background on my favorite topic, check out this podcast with David Sabatini 

    and this one with Matt Kaeberlein. And if you really want to go the whole hog, don’t forget 

    this one from our pilgrimage to Easter Island, the birthplace of the most 

    important discovery in biology.

    When people speak of modern medicine, accuracy plays one of the most crucial roles and human lives are literally dependent on it. Likewise, any researches related to medicine are required to meet the highest standards. The problem nowadays is that any recommendations of researches can be shared online and used as a reference without being adequately verified and approved. Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny of Oncotarget clearly understood this problem and decided to come up with an alternative solution. That’s how a weekly oncology-focused research journal named “Oncotarget” has been founded back in 2010. The key principle of this journal is based on Altmetric scores that are used as a quality indicator. That helps both readers and authors to validate publications with Altmetric Article Reports that provide “real-time feedback containing data summary related to a particular publication.” Oncotarget website has a complete publications list with corresponding scores higher than 100 as well as reports discussed previously. Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny proud to share his new approach and hopes it provides the necessary assistance to anybody, who has interest in oncology.
    “A diagnostic autoantibody signature for primary cutaneous melanoma” has the Altmetric score of 594. This paper was released back in 2018 by Oncotarget and completed by different experts from Hollywood Private Hospital, Edith Cowan University, Dermatology Specialist Group, St. John of God Hospital and The University of Western Australia. The introduction of the study discusses “recent data shows that Australians are four times more likely to develop a cancer of the skin than any other type of cancer”, and shares an insight on melanoma that “is curable by surgical excision in the majority of cases, if detected at an early stage.”
    The publication has got an Altmetric score of 594. Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny realizes that majority of readers are willing to comprehend the very meaning of it. Based on the Altmetric website, the score indicates “how many people have been exposed to and engaged with a scholarly output.” Hence, the publication about melanoma, was used for citations in different news articles 69 times. Besides that, it was quoted in 2 online blogs, as well as 25 Tweets on Twitter and 1 Facebook post. FOX23 of Tulsa, Oklahoma has headlined their report on July 20, 2018 as “New blood test could detect skin cancer early”, using the main content of Australia study
    Another Oncotarget’s study with a top score of 476, is “Biomarkers for early diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma: Do we need another moon-shot,”. This research has appeared in 60 news stories, 1 online blog post and 6 Twitter posts. The majority of public may have come across a concise overview only, however those who visit Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny at Oncotarget, do get helpful scientific facts. Oncotarget is glad to have the chance to share with online viewers this highly appreciated and high-quality information, that is trustworthy and reliable.


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