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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Dec 24;325(4):1131-5.

Tumor size-independence of telomere length indicates an aggressive feature of HCC.

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  • 1Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Graduate School of Medical Science, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.


Using quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH), the average telomere length of hepatoma cells was assessed by the average telomeric signal intensity of cancer cells relative to that of stromal cells. We demonstrated first the applicability of Q-FISH for tissue sections by comparing Q-FISH and Southern blotting results. Tumors less than 50mm in diameter and with a relative telomeric intensity of less than 0.6 were categorized as group A and the remainder as group B. In group A, the telomere length correlated negatively with tumor size, whereas in group B there was no correlation. Compared with the group A tumors, the group B tumors were of significantly more advanced stage, showed higher telomerase and proliferative activities, and exhibited less differentiated histology. Therefore, we considered that a lack of correlation between telomere length and tumor size, namely, size-independence of telomere length, is associated with unfavorable clinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinomas.

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