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Poor prognosis of constitutive γ-H2AX expressing triple-negative breast cancers is associated with telomere length.

Authors: Anika A. Nagelkerke, Simon J A SJ. van Kuijk, John W JW. Martens, Fred C G J FC. Sweep, Nicoline N. Hoogerbrugge, Johan J. Bussink, Paul N PN. Span
Published: 03/26/2015, Biomarkers in medicine


Here, we set out to establish whether endogenous γ-H2AX is a biomarker in triple-negative breast cancer.


We explored the association of γ-H2AX with mutation status and sensitivity to 139 different anticancer drugs in up to 41 breast cancer cell lines. Further, we correlated γ-H2AX expression in breast cancer tumor tissues with telomere length.


γ-H2AX positive breast cancer cells exhibit more mutations, and - when p53 mutated - have shorter telomeres. In breast cancer patients γ-H2AX is also related to shorter telomeres, which was in turn associated with poorer prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer patients.


Thus, endogenous γ-H2AX is associated with short telomeres, which might offer a specific target for therapy for triple-negative breast cancer patients.

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