Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality. Previous studies demonstrated increased telomerase activity in colorectal cancer tissue and suggested a prognostic value for patients with colorectal carcinoma. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), one of the main functional subunits of the telomerase, is an important factor in modulating telomerase activity, telomere length, and genomic stability. However, there are few studies that have addressed the association between genetic variation at TERT and the risk of colorectal cancer.
We evaluated the influence of three common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TERT gene (rs2853669, rs2736100, rs2736098) on susceptibility to colorectal cancer in 104 patients and 135 controls in a Turkish population.
We observed that rs2736098 was significantly associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (OR = 2.53; 95% CI = 1.26-5.10; p = 0.008). On the other hand, rs2736100 and rs2853669 showed no association with colorectal cancer (p ≥ 0.128).
These findings are the first results of TERT allele distributions in the Turkish population and also provide increased understanding with respect to colorectal cancer etiology.