The evolving role of telomerase inhibitors in the treatment of cancer

Curr Med Res Opin. 2003;19(6):470-2. doi: 10.1185/030079903125002081.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Telomerase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Telomerase / physiology


  • Telomerase