The study of ageing and cell senescence has led to the recent interest in telomeres and telomerase. Telomeres are known to play a role in chromosomal replication and each time cells divide these telomeres shorten. Telomere shortening occurs with increased age. Telomerase is the main factor involved in the preservation of telomere length and therefore its activation is mooted to play a role in the immortalisation of cells. It is in this that our interest lies as it is thought that telomerase has a role to play not only in cell immortalisation but also in the development of neoplasia. Much research has been carried out in this exciting field with the aim of elucidating the role telomerase plays in carcinogenesis. This review is an attempt to summarise the recent advances in this area, which is striving to establish if telomerase does indeed have a role to play in either the early diagnosis of carcinoma or as a marker of prognosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine