Telomerase in brain tumors
Introduction: In recent years, many scientists involved in cancer research have directed their attention to telomerase, an enzymatic complex which is specifically involved in duplicating telomeres, the very ends of linear chromosomes. The discovery that most immortal cell lines in vitro and human tumor cells in vivo have telomerase activity, in contrast to telomerase-negative normal somatic cells, has made telomerase a candidate for use as a molecular marker of malignancy and even as a target for anticancer therapies. Thus, the assessment of the role of telomerase activity in neoplastic transformation has become a key issue in oncology, as stated by the exponential increase of papers on telomerase in the last 5 years. Object: In this paper, we review some recent data from the literature, including our own studies, on the regulation of telomerase activity in brain tumors.
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