Author(s): Mokbell K, Parris CN, Ghilchik M, Newbold RF
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Abstract Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme which appears to play an important role in carcinogenesis. Telomerase reactivation seems to be associated with immortalization and malignancy. Using a PCR-based assay, we examined telomerase activity in 50 breast tissue specimens, prospectively obtained from 37 women undergoing elective breast surgery. The specimens examined included normal breast (n=13), benign breast lesions (n=5), ductal carcinoma in situ (n=8) and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (n=24). All normal breast, benign breast and DCIS specimens lacked telomerase activity. Sixteen (67\%) of 24 infiltrating carcinomas. In infiltrating ductal cancer, there was a statistically significant association between telomerase activity and nodal metastasis. The present results indicate that telomerase activity is associated with acquisition of invasive malignancy in the human breast and may have a role in complementing cytopathological diagnosis. Telomerase activity as a prognostic marker should be included in future validation studies. In DCIS, telomerase activity may be a late event associated with invasion of the basement membrane.
This article was published in Breast
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy