The test subjects also grew fewer tumors. "While halting cell division of these cells is important for cancer prevention, it has been theorized that once the 'emergency brake' has been pulled, these cells are no longer necessary," added van Duersen. These cells no longer divide, and build up in humans and animals as they age.
Darren Baker, a molecular biologist at Mayo Clinic, and first author on the study says the effect of a drug treatment on humans could have a very powerful effect: "If translatable, because senescent cells do not proliferate rapidly, a drug could efficiently and quickly eliminate enough of them to have profound impacts on health span and lifespan." Hypothetically, if the drug treatment did add 35 percent to the lifespan of humans, it would bring average life-expectancy to between 95 and 100 years.