Loss of telomerase activity may be a potential favorable prognostic marker in lung carcinomas

Lung Cancer. 2003 Aug;41(2):163-9. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5002(03)00195-8.


Many cancer and immortal cells exhibit telomerase activity that stabilizes telomere lengths, possibly contributing to cell immortality and carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to elucidate the clinicopathological relationship between telomerase activity and telomerase reverse transcriptase subunit (hTERT) status in non small cell lung cancer. hTERT status in non small cell lung cancer using telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) and RT-PCR assay, respectively. Telomerase activity and hTERT were detected in 85.7 and 80.3% of cancerous tissues, respectively. Telomerase activity does not correlate with clinicopathological variables. However, there was an association between p53-correlated expression and hTERT negative status. Lung cancer patients without telomerase activity survived for a significantly longer period than those with telomerase activity. In addition, hTERT was not associated with the prognosis. TERT expression did not correlate well with any clinical parameter. Reactivated telomerase activity may be a poor prognostic factor in NSCLCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Survival Analysis
  • Telomerase / genetics
  • Telomerase / metabolism*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TERT protein, human
  • Telomerase