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Curr Med Res Opin. 2003;19(6):470-2.

The evolving role of telomerase inhibitors in the treatment of cancer.

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  • 1Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, Brunel University, and St George's and the Princess Grace Hospitals, London, UK.


Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains telomeres and is essential for cellular immortality and tumour growth. The differential expression of telomerase in cancer cells makes it an attractive therapeutic target. Anti-sense oligonucleotides directed against the RNA template of hTR and small molecules that can interact and stabilise the G-quadruplex represent promising therapeutic strategies. Human trials investigating the potential role of the catalytic subunit hTERT as a universal cancer vaccine have already commenced. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) and efficacy delay remain important limitations to anti-telomerase therapy.

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