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Clin Cancer Res. 1996 Jun;2(6):929-32.

Telomerase activity in human bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Yokohama City University, School of Medicine, 3-9, Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236, Japan.


Telomerase can synthesize telomeric DNA repeats onto chromosome ends. Telomere length and telomerase activity have recently been implicated in the control of the proliferative capacity of normal and malignant cells. The expression of telomerase activity is concomitant with the attainment of immortality in tumor tissues and cells. Thus, enzyme activity may indicate a prevalent or even ubiquitous tumor producer. In this report, telomerase activity was analyzed in 40 human bladder cancers, 7 normal tissues, and 2 bladder epithelia with dysplasia using a PCR-based telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay. Telomerase activity was detected in almost all bladder tumors (97.5%); only one sample, which was in an early stage, did not express telomerase activity. None of the normal tissues displayed telomerase activity. One of the two bladder epithelia with dysplasia expressed low telomerase activity. The expression of telomerase activity has a clear association with the pathological grade and clinical stage. Most of the tumors with high telomerase activity were in an advanced grade and had deep invasion. Thus, telomerase activity might be suggested to represent an additional required event in the multigenetic process of tumorigenesis in human bladder cancer.

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