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Absolute qPCR for measuring telomere length in bone marrow samples of plasma cell disorders.

Authors: Julieta J. Panero, Nathan J NJ. O'Callaghan, Michael M. Fenech, Irma I. Slavutsky
Published: 01/20/2015, Molecular biotechnology


Telomere length (TL) is currently used as an emerging biomarker in understanding the development/progression of hematological malignancies. The absolute quantitative PCR (qPCR) methodology has allowed the study of TL from a variety of mammalian tissues, but it has not been tested for bone marrow (BM) samples. In this study, we have examined the relationship between TL data generated by absolute qPCR versus those obtained by terminal restriction fragments (TRF) in 102 BM samples from patients with plasma cell disorders. A significant linear correlation between both methodologies was observed (p < 0.0001; r (2) = 0.70). Results were also analyzed in relation to clinical characteristics and significant associations between telomere shortening and parameters of adverse prognosis were observed. Furthermore, another set of 47 BM samples from patients with low quantity of DNA for TRF assay were suitably analyzed by qPCR, indicating the usefulness of the absolute qPCR methodology for the inclusion of patients with scarce material to the study. Taken together, these findings are of interest considering the importance of telomere dysfunction in the pathogenesis of cancer and give a new alternative to measure TL in hematologic disorders with substantial time and cost savings.

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