Telomere length as a biological marker in malignancy

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1792(4):317-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.01.017. Epub 2009 Feb 7.


Telomere maintenance is important for tumor cell growth and survival. Telomere length (TL) is determined by the balance between positive and negative factors impacting telomere homeostasis. In the last decade, TL has emerged as a promising clinical marker for risk and prognosis prediction in patients with malignant disorders. Tumor TL, as well as TL in healthy tissues such as peripheral blood, may carry valuable information for future treatment strategies. Here we discuss the present status of TL as a biological marker in cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Telomere / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor