Journal of Korean medical science

Prognostic implication of telomerase activity in patients with brain tumors.

PMID 16479078


Telomerase adds telomeric repeats to the ends of telomeres to compensate for their progressive loss. A favorable prognosis is associated with low or no telomerase in some tumors. The authors investigated whether telomerase activity is associated with survival of patients with brain tumors. Sixty-two consecutive patients with brain tumors underwent surgery, and their surgical specimens were investigated. The patients were pathologically categorized as group I (aggressive group) and group II (non-aggressive group). Telomerase activity was examined by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay. The median time was calculated in association with overall survival and progression-free survival in each group. The significant difference was noted in telomerase activity between high-grade gliomas and lowgrade gliomas (p=0.022). Telomerase activity was significantly associated with the median overall survival and progression-free survival in all tumors of the aggressive group. On the other hand, the median overall survival in the non-aggressive group was not dependent on telomerase activity, while the median progression-free survival was. Our data suggests that telomerase is an important prognostic indicator of survival in patients with brain tumors.