Telomerase elevation in pancreatic ductal carcinoma compared to nonmalignant pathological states

Nobuhiro Suehara, Kazuhiro Mizumoto, Tsuyoshi Muta, Yohei Tominaga, Hideo Shimura, Shigetaka Kitajima, Naotaka Hamasaki, Masazumi Tsuneyoshi, Masao Tanaka

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Telomerase activity was measured in surgically resected tissues of 20 human pancreatic ductal carcinomas, 12 adenomas, 5 pancreatitis tissues, 14 normal pancreatic ducts, and 13 normal pancreatic tissues (primarily made up of acinar cells) using a PCR-based telomerase assay. Relative telomerase activity was expressed as the equivalent telomerase intensity of the number of cells of a human pancreatic cancer cell line, MIA PaCa-2, per microgram of protein in the tissue samples. The median value (25th percentile, 75th percentile) of relative telomerase activity in pancreatic carcinomas was 13.2 (3.58, 244), which was significantly higher relative to normal tissues, normal ducts, pancreatitis tissues, and adenomas (P < 0.0001). When the cutoff value of relative telomerase activity was set at 1.00 and 3.00, the positivity rates of telomerase activity in pancreatic ductal carcinomas were 100 and 80%, respectively. Some of the adenoma samples displayed a weak telomerase ladder. However, when semiquantitatively analyzed, the relative telomerase activity of all adenoma tissues was less than 1.00 equivalent cells per microgram protein of the tissues, which was equivalent to the values encountered in normal ducts. Thus, our results indicate that reactivation of telomerase may occur at a late stage of pancreatic ductal carcinogenesis. Therefore, telomerase may be a specific marker for distinguishing pancreatic cancer from pancreatitis and adenomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-998
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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