Refining the telomere-telomerase hypothesis of aging and cancer

Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Jul;14(7):836-9. doi: 10.1038/nbt0796-836.


While there has been substantial experimental evidence in support of the telomere-telomerase hypothesis of aging and cancer, it has been suggested that the theory has been oversimplified to the exclusion of alternative mechanisms in the progression of cancer. This review strives to present an overview of some of the areas that have not been well explained and to indicate where multiple interpretations of the data are possible.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stem Cells / enzymology
  • Telomerase / metabolism*
  • Telomere*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Telomerase