An unusual cell death mechanism contributes to cancer resistance of the blind mole rat, a small subterranean rodent with remarkable longevity (Gorbunova V et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:19392-19396).
Researchers at the University of Rochester, in New York, and their colleagues found that fibroblast cells from the rats proliferate actively for 7 to 20 population doublings, after which the cells begin secreting interferon-beta, and the cultures undergo massive necrotic cell death within 3 days. This phenomenon depends on the p53 and retinoblastoma tumor suppressor proteins.
Hampton T. Why Mole Rats Are Cancer Free. JAMA. 2013;309(1):20. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.173449