Navigation Links
Shorter Telomere Length Again Linked to Cancer
Date:7/6/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- People who have white blood cells with shorter telomeres may be at a higher risk of developing cancer, especially aggressive cancers that are more likely to kill, new research suggests.

Telomeres are the "shoelace ends" that cap and protect your chromosomes and naturally get shorter as you age.

Right now, the findings aren't likely to have any clinical usefulness, said Dr. Stefan Kiechl, senior author of a paper appearing in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. But in the future, he added, "telomere length may well become a component of risk scores for cancer manifestation and, eventually, cancer prognosis."

The main significance of the new research is in understanding the biology of cancer, according to Dr. Eliot Rosen, an oncology professor at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

"If the study is confirmed, it's a very, very important finding, but there isn't enough information [here] to be certain of this," he said. "It's very interesting and potentially important, but I wouldn't make too much of it till it's confirmed."

Previous studies have linked cancer and short telomeres via an enzyme called telomerase, which builds telomeres, Rosen explained.

In the natural life cycle, cells stop dividing when telomeres become too short. Cancer cells are able to override this by expressing more of the enzyme telomerase.

"Normal adult cells in the body do not express a telomerase, so for a cell to become immortal and continue to divide, the cell has to express telomerase," Rosen explained.

"What's believed to be the major function of a telomere is to maintain the stability of chromosomes, to prevent the chromosomes from degrading or rearranging or becoming altered in one way or another," he continued. "A reduced telomere length would be predicted to lead to an increased risk of cancer."

This is the first prospective study, meaning one that follows individuals over time, to look at this question.

The authors, from England, Austria and Italy, measured telomere length in leukocytes (white blood cells) in 787 individuals who did not have cancer, before following the individuals for 10 years, until 2005, in what is known as the Bruneck Study out of South Tyrol, Italy.

Individuals who had shorter telomere length at the start of the study were more likely to develop cancer, even after adjusting for more conventional cancer risk factors, including age.

Those with the shortest telomere length had more than triple the risk of developing cancer, and those in the middle group had twice the risk compared to those with the longest telomere length.

Those in the short telomere group also had a higher risk of dying from their malignancy than those with longer telomeres.

This may be because shorter telomere length was also associated with more aggressive cancers, such as stomach, lung and ovarian.

Still, there may be a way to keep your telomeres longer.

"Telomere shortening is accelerated by inflammation and oxidative stress as induced by unhealthy lifestyles like smoking," said Kiechl, a neurology professor at Innsbruck Medical University in Austria. "There are extensive research efforts at the moment to identify conditions (like lifestyle features) that promote or counteract telomere shortening, and this knowledge should be important for future primary prevention of cancer."

More information

The University of Utah has more on telomeres.

SOURCES: Stefan Kiechl, M.D., professor of neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria; Eliot Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., professor of oncology, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; July 7, 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Shorter Hospital Stays May Hinder Heart Failure Patients
2. CT and MRI scans associated with shorter hospital stays and decreased costs
3. For Some Breast Cancer Patients, Shorter Radiation Works Well
4. Heart attack victims who have ECGs in the field experience shorter time-to-treatment
5. Antibody therapy lengthens survival of metastatic melanoma patients in large clinical trial
6. Texas Childrens Cancer Center first in Texas to magnetically lengthen 9-year-olds leg as she grows
7. Cosmetic Peptides that Significantly Reduce Length and Depth of Wrinkles: Janet Sartin Introduces Advanced Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Serum for All Skin Types
8. Unequal leg length tied to osteoarthritis, says Queens professor
9. Coverage of inexpensive drugs may increase length and quality of life after heart attack
10. The Quantum Scale Helps in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity
11. Exercise May Guard Girls Against Dementia in Senior Years
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Shorter Telomere Length Again Linked to Cancer
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As ... serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 ... Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is ... pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a ... of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners ... October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network ... cancer patient education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy ... to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement ... Innovative Design ... ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company I.M. ... on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user about ... better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey CPR ... efficacy of the compression for a more informed CPR ... to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly ... its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... performance. The conference call will begin at ... public can access a live webcast of the conference ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: