Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk

Date:
October 29, 2010
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have found a link between long telomeres and an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Telomeres of some young-onset colorectal cancer patients showed accelerated aging. Other patients had telomeres longer than those of young healthy people.

For the first time, researchers have found a link between long telomeres and an increased risk for colorectal cancer, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research special conference on Colorectal Cancer: Biology to Therapy, held in Philadelphia Oct. 27-30, 2010.

Telomeres are small strips of DNA that cover the ends of chromosomes -- they are similar to the plastic coverings on shoelace tips. They prevent chromosome tips from fraying during cell division. If the telomeres shorten, then cells age. Shortened telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of cancer development, said Lisa A. Boardman, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Boardman and colleagues sought evidence of biological aging in people who develop colorectal cancer at a young age. The researchers hoped to determine what was causing these young patients to develop a disease that is typically associated with aging, she said.

"We anticipated that we would see some people who had young-onset colon cancer and shorter telomeres compared to people of the same age group who did not have cancer," said Boardman.

They were surprised, however, to find a group with longer telomeres.

"Even for people their age, their telomeres were longer than you'd expect for healthy people. This suggests that there may be two different mechanisms that affect telomere length and that set up susceptibility to cancer," she said.

The researchers measured peripheral blood leukocyte DNA telomere length in 772 patients diagnosed with microsatellite stable colorectal cancer. Patients were younger than 60 years at diagnosis and had no history of chemo-radiotherapy. The researchers compared this group's telomere length with 1,660 nonrelated, age-matched, healthy controls.

Patients with the longest telomeres -- those patients in the 95th percentile of telomere length -- were 30 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those in the 50th percentile, the results showed. Overall, the individuals with the shortest and the longest telomere lengths were at an increased risk for colorectal cancer, Boardman said.

These results indicate that there may be two distinct groups of colorectal cancer in young-onset patients. One that involves telomere shortening and this subset of young-onset of colorectal cancer patients may have accelerated aging. The other may be a distinct subgroup of patients with longer telomeres.

In future studies, researchers will examine the telomere maintenance genes in the peripheral blood DNA. In order to determine if these subsets of patients with younger-onset colorectal cancer have tumors that are mechanistically distinct, we are in the process of comparing the telomere lengths in the peripheral blood DNA with that in the tumor.

"It may be that if they truly go through different mechanisms in the development of cancer, then they may respond to different types of treatment and have a different molecular profile," said Boardman.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028132257.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2010, October 29). Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028132257.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028132257.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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