Increasing number of genetic studies suggest that the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and cancer may involve similar genes, pathways, and mechanisms. The differences in the pathological and cellular mechanisms, and the associated genetic mutations, may result in two such divergent diseases. However, the links between the molecular mechanisms that cause PD and cancer remain to be elucidated. This article appraises the overlapping molecular features of these diseases and discusses the implications for prevention and treatment. We propose that chronic inflammation (CI) in neurons and tumors contributes to a microenvironment that favors the amassing of DNA mutations and facilitating disease formation. CI may therefore play a key role in the development of PD and cancer, and provide a link between these two diseases.
Part of the book: Challenges in Parkinson's Disease