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The relationship between telomere length and clinicopathologic characteristics in colorectal cancers among Tunisian patients.

Authors: Raja R. Mzahma, Maher M. Kharrat, Fadhel F. Fetiriche, Bouasker, Mounir M. Ben Moussa, Zoubeir Z. Ben Safta, Chadli C. Dziri, AbdelJelil A. Zaouche, Habiba H. Chaabouni-Bouhamed
Published: 06/06/2015, Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine


Alterations in telomere dynamics have emerged as having a causative role in carcinogenesis. Both the telomere attrition contribute to tumor initiation via increasing chromosomal instability and that the telomere elongation induces cell immortalization and leads to tumor progression. The objectives of this study are to investigate the dynamics of telomere length in colorectal cancer (CRC) and the clinicopathological parameters implicated. We measured the relative telomere length (RTL) in cancerous tissues and in corresponding peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) using quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) from 94 patients with CRC. Telomere length correlated significantly in cancer tissues and corresponding PBL (r = 0.705). Overall, cancer tissue had shorter telomeres than PBL (p = 0.033). In both cancer tissue and PBL, the RTL was significantly correlated with age groups (p = 0.008 and p = 0.012, respectively). The RTL in cancer tissue was significantly longer in rectal tumors (p = 0.04) and in the late stage of tumors (p = 0.01). In PBL, the RTL was significantly correlated with the macroscopic aspect of tumors (p = 0.02). In addition, the telomere-length ratio of cancer to corresponding PBL increased significantly with late-stage groups. Shortening of the telomere was detected in 44.7%, elongation in 36.2%, and telomeres were unchanged in 19.1% of 94 tumors. Telomere shortening occurred more frequently in the early stage of tumors (p = 0.01). This study suggests that the telomere length in PBL is affected by the macroscopic aspect of tumors and that telomere length in cancer tissues is a marker for progression of CRC and depends on tumor-origin site.

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