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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Apr;4(4):473-5. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0066. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Walking the walk from genes through telomere maintenance to cancer risk.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-2200, USA.


Recent studies have shown associations between human population single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and white blood cell telomere shortness; independently, telomere shortness has been associated with higher risks of various cancers. However, no single previous study simultaneously linked a given SNP both with telomere length and reduced risk of cancer. In this issue of the journal (beginning on page 514), Gu and colleagues report four new SNPs associated, in three cohorts, with telomere length. One of these SNPs predicted risk for bladder cancer, an effect partially mediated by telomere length. Interventions that could forestall telomere shortening should be explored for their potential to reduce cancer risks.

©2011 AACR.

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