Activation of telomerase and stabilization of telomeres are considered to be necessary for immortalization of human tumor cells. In the present study, telomerase activity was detected in 41 (95%) of 43 pancreatic cancer specimens but was detectable in none of 11 benign pancreatic tumors and only one of 3 pancreatitis samples. Low levels of telomerase activity were detected in 5 (14%) of 36 adjacent 'normal' pancreatic tissues. These five telomerase-positive 'normal' specimens were obtained from patients that also had pancreatic cancer and may reflect occult microinvasion. Telomerase activity was examined in 12 ex vivo brushing samples of the pancreatic duct, and 8 of 8 with pancreatic cancer had detectable telomerase activity, whereas 0 of 4 of benign lesions (cystadenoma and pancreatitis) did. These findings suggest that telomerase activity in cells derived from pancreatic ducts may be useful in the diagnosis of cancer and that telomerase activity may be a critical or rate-limiting step in pancreatic carcinogenesis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 28 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research