Telomerase activity and prognosis in primary breast cancers

Lisa A. Carey, Nam W. Kim, Steven Goodman, Jeffrey Marks, Gregory Henderson, Christopher B. Umbricht, Jeffrey S. Dome, William Dooley, Stefan R. Amshey, Saraswati Sukumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent studies associate telomerase activity with prognostic factors and survival. We compared quantitative telomerase activity in primary tumors with traditional prognostic factors and outcome in a group of invasive but nonmetastatic breast cancers. Patients and Methods: Telomerase activity was measured in 203 invasive breast cancers by the quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol method. Telomerase expression was compared with 28S rRNA level, tumor content, and clinical variables, including outcome. For clinical correlations, telomerase activity was standardized by two methods: (1) a correction for cellularity using 28S rRNA levels, and (2) a correction for the histologically determined invasive proportion of the specimen. Results: Telomerase activity was found in 82% of breast cancers with measurable 28S rRNA levels. Telomerase activity was associated with the proliferative index (P < .01) of the tumor but not with any other prognostic variable. Neither uncorrected nor corrected telomerase activity was associated with relapse-free or overall survival in this study. Conclusion: Telomerase activity level was associated with the proliferative index of invasive breast cancers, but its measurement in samples from this group of nonmetastatic breast cancer patients did not predict survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3075-3081
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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