Author(s): Hiyama E, Hiyama K
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This review will focus on the clinical utilities of telomerase for human cancer diagnosis. Much attention has been focused on detection of telomerase activity and its essential components (hTR and hTERT) in cancer and noncancerous tissues. Expression of hTR and hTERT is upregulated in almost all human malignant tumors but not in benign or normal tissues with the exception of germline cells, proliferative stem cells, activated lymphocytes, and certain benign tumors. Thus, telomerase is a useful marker for cancer diagnosis and in some instance as a prognostic indicator of outcome. Telomerase detection in cells derived from breast fine needle aspirates, bronchial washes, and pancreatic juices show high sensitivity and specificity for cancer detection. In tissue samples, the level of telomerase activity is a useful prognostic indicator in certain adult cancers such as gastric and colon cancers and in neuroblastomas. Immunohistochemical detection of hTERT will facilitate exact diagnosis of the telomerase positive cells and expand the application of telomerase in cancer diagnosis.
This article was published in Oncogene
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy