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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 135  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

Expression of telomerase & its significance in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer


Department of General Surgery, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong, University School of Medicine, Sinan Road, China

Correspondence Address:
Tian-Quan Han
Department of General Surgery, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong, University School of Medicine, Sinan Road 27, 200025
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.93420

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Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst prognoses among all types of cancers. The survival rate is less than 5 per cent; this is due to difficulty in diagnosing at an early stage. Despite the improvements in diagnostic imaging techniques such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, etc., the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is still difficult. Alternative methods of diagnosing pancreatic cancer at an early stage are presently been explored. The detection of telomerase activity has been proposed to be a useful tool in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Telomerase is made up of three major parts namely, human telomerase reverse transcriptase, human telomerase and telomerase -associated protein. Several researchers have shown telomerase activity in tissues and fluids of patients with pancreatic and other types of cancers. About 95 per cent telomerase activity has been detected in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Since telomerase activity is present in a vast majority of human cancers, it might have a role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.


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