I’m sure that some people think that the world of anti-ageing medicine is either really tiny and quiet or non-existent, but facts prove them wrong all the time. In particular, this article talks about a new cancer therapy that is reminiscent of WILT: it takes away the ability of cancer cells to grow indefinitely. As we’re used to hear, the treatment was tried on mice only, but since it works on mice, the article says, “we can look to the future for its application in humans”.
The difference between this therapy and WILT is, as far as my understanding goes, that while WILT provides that the telomerase/ALT genes be deleted from the whole body, this therapy targets cancer cells specifically, “uncapping” their telomeres. The result is the same: the cancerous cells lose their immortality and die off just like any other cell.
Dr. de Grey himself says in Ending Aging that he hopes that better ways than WILT come along to defeat cancer: shutting off telomerase/ALT production altogether in the body is a scary option, because without that, even non-cancerous cells are doomed: they’d die off much faster than normal, and so would we; we’d need to compensate for such an accelerated cell loss, and that too would be RepleniSENS’s job.
As far as I remember, de Grey’s concerns were that targeting cancerous cells specifically to deprive them of their telomerase-induced immortality would be too difficult, while deleting the telomerase/ALT gene would be easier. Hopefully research like this will pave the way for cancer treatments that are just as effective as WILT would be, but less risky.