Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Length of biological marker associated with risk of cancer

Date:
July 12, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A new study suggests that shorter length of leukocyte telomeres -- chromosome markers of biological aging -- are associated with an increased risk of cancer and death from cancer, according to a new study.

A new study suggests that shorter length of leukocyte telomeres -- chromosome markers of biological aging -- are associated with an increased risk of cancer and death from cancer, according to a study in the July 7 issue of JAMA. A leukocyte is a type of blood cell.

Related Articles


Telomeres are a structure at the end of a chromosome involved in the replication and stability of the chromosome. Genetic factors and environmental stressors can shorten the length of the telomere, and telomere length has been considered to be an emerging marker of biological age. Some research has suggested that short telomeres and chromosomal instability contribute to malignant cell transformation. "Proof of concept for this intriguing hypothesis remains to be established from an epidemiological perspective," the authors write.

Peter Willeit, M.D., of Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria, and colleagues conducted a study to assess the association between leukocyte telomere length and risk of both new-onset cancer and cancer death. Leukocyte telomere length was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (laboratory technique used to analyze DNA) in 787 participants, free of cancer in 1995, and part of the prospective, population-based Bruneck Study in Italy. The primary outcomes analyzed included the incidence of new cancer and cancer mortality over a follow-up period of 10 years (1995-2005).

During follow-up, a total of 92 of 787 participants (11.7 percent) developed cancer. Analysis indicated that short telomere length at the beginning of the study was associated with new cancer independently of standard cancer risk factors. Compared with participants in the longest telomere length group, participants in the middle length group had about twice the risk of cancer, and those in the shortest length group had approximately three times the risk. Cancer incidence rates were inversely related to telomere length, with participants in the group with the shortest telomere length having the highest rate of cancer.

Short telomere length was also associated with a higher rate of death from cancer. "Of note, telomere length was preferentially associated with individual cancers characterized by a high fatality rate such as gastric, lung, and ovarian cancer, but less so with tumors linked to better prognosis," the authors write. They add that telomere length had a similar predictive value for cancer in both men and women and in various age groups.

"A variety of experimental and genetic studies support the hypothesis that telomere attrition contributes to the manifestation and dissemination of malignancies. While fully functional telomeres confer protection of the genome, shortened telomeres facilitate chromosomal instability," the researchers write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Willeit; Johann Willeit; Agnes Mayr; Siegfried Weger; Friedrich Oberhollenzer; Anita Brandstatter; Florian Kronenberg; Stefan Kiechl. Telomere Length and Risk of Incident Cancer and Cancer Mortality. JAMA, 2010; 304 (1): 69-75 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Length of biological marker associated with risk of cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706161749.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, July 12). Length of biological marker associated with risk of cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706161749.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Length of biological marker associated with risk of cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706161749.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins