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Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(3):146-9. Epub 2001 Feb 22.

Telomerase and breast cancer.

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Department of Cell Biology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Texas 75390-9039, USA.


Current therapies for breast cancer include treatments that are toxic and often result in drug resistance. Telomerase, a cellular reverse transcriptase that maintains the ends of chromosomes (telomeres), is activated in the vast majority of breast cancers (over 90% of breast carcinomas) but not in normal adjacent tissues. Telomerase is thus an attractive target for both diagnosis and therapy because of its distinct pattern of expression. We address the use of telomerase in the diagnostics of breast pathology, as well as the use of telomerase inhibitors in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

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