eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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4/2008
vol. 4
 
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abstract:

Review paper
Diagnostic and prognostic value of telomerase assay in lung cancer

Tomasz Targowski
,
Karina Jahnz-Różyk

Arch Med Sci 2008; 4, 4: 353–357
Online publish date: 2009/01/26
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Lung cancer is the main cause of death related to neoplastic diseases. Because of nearly asymptomatic onset of the disease, early diagnosis of lung cancer is highly unsatisfactory and only 10-15% of patients survive 5 years. It is necessary therefore to find new molecular diagnostic and prognostic markers. Telomerase, an enzyme associated with cellular immortality, is highly expressed in the majority of cancers. Assessment of telomerase activity could be helpful in differentiation between benign and malignant peripheral tumours of lungs and could improve the sensitivity of cytological examination of few-cell aspirates, suggesting malignant aetiology of the suspected lung lesions. It is also thought that high telomerase activity in tumour cells is an unfavourable independent prognostic factor of survival. This article reviews current knowledge about the importance of telomerase in carcinogenesis and its diagnostic and prognostic value in lung cancer.
keywords:

lung cancer, telomerase, non-small cell carcinoma, small cell lung cancer

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