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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2000;43(2):260-267.
Published online January 1, 2001.
Telomerase Activity in Cervical Cancer.
Kyung Ah Lee, Tae Kee Jang, Young Jin Jang, Young Gi Lee, Doo Jin Lee, Sung Ho Lee
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that synthesizes TTAGGG repeats onto chromosome ends. The expression of telomerase is thought to be required for cellular immortality and carcinogenesis. This study was conducted to examine the telomerase activation occurs in cervical carcinogenesis. METHODS: The standard telomeric repeat amplification protocol(TRAP) was used to examine telomerase activity in tissues of 10 normal cervix, 10 carcinoma in situ, and 21 invasive cervical carcinoma. RESULTS: Telomerase activity was detected in tissues of 16/21(76.2%) invasive carcinoma, in 5/10(50.0%) carcinoma in situ, and in 3/10(30.0%) normal cervix. But the degree of telomerase activity in normal cervix was weak. There was significant difference in 3 groups(p<0.05). The results of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in 10 invasive cervical carcinoma were as follows. In 8 cases of which tumor size decreased more than 50%, 5 were positive for telomerase. In 2 cases that didn't respond to chemotherapy by tumor size, 1 was positive for telomerase. There was no significant difference between 2 groups. All of the 5 cases that had pelvic lymph node metastasis revealed positive telomerase activity, and the 11 cases of 16 cases that didn't have pelvic lymph node metastasis were positive for telomerase, but there was no significant difference in 2 groups. The positivity of telomerase activity in clinical stage of invasive cervical carcinoma was 73.3% in stage I(11/15), 75.0% in stage II(3/4), 100% in stage III(1/1), and 100% in stage IV(1/1), but there was no significant difference in each stages. CONCLUSION: Telomerase seems to be uniquely associated with malignant transformation of cervix and can be used as a tumor marker. Additional studies are needed to better clarify the biological significance of telomerase expression in cervical tumorigenesis.
Key Words: Telomerase activity, Cervical cancer

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