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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Telomere length and telomerase activity in malignant lymphomas at diagnosis and relapse.

Telomere length maintenance, in the vast majority of cases executed by telomerase, is a prerequisite for long-term proliferation. Most malignant tumours, including lymphomas, are telomerase-positive and this activity is a potential target for future therapeutic interventions since inhibition of telomerase has been shown to result in telomere shortening and cell death in vitro. One prerequisite for the suitability of anti-telomerase drugs in treating cancer is that tumours exhibit shortened telomeres compared to telomerase-positive stem cells. A scenario is envisioned where the tumour burden is reduced using conventional therapy whereafter remaining tumour cells are treated with telomerase inhibitors. In evaluating the realism of such an approach it is essential to know the effects on telomere status by traditional therapeutic regimens. We have studied the telomere lengths in 47 diagnostic lymphomas and a significant telomere shortening was observed compared to benign lymphoid tissues. In addition, telomere length and telomerase activity were studied in consecutive samples from patients with relapsing non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Shortened, unchanged and elongated telomere lengths were observed in the relapse samples. The telomere length alterations found in the relapsing lymphomas appeared to be independent of telomerase and rather represented clonal selection random at the telomere length level. These data indicate that anti-telomerase therapy would be suitable in only a fraction of malignant lymphomas.[1]


  1. Telomere length and telomerase activity in malignant lymphomas at diagnosis and relapse. Remes, K., Norrback, K.F., Rosenquist, R., Mehle, C., Lindh, J., Roos, G. Br. J. Cancer (2000) [Pubmed]
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