Cancer Treatment by Targeting Telomeres & Telomerase


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The researchers across the world are working diligently towards finding a cure for cancer. Recently, a study based on the observation of telomeres & telomerase worked towards finding the cure for cancer. Could bring about an alteration in the telomere length (TL) result in the prevention of cancer & aging? The researchers are yet to find that out!

Cancer is typically an age-related genetic ailment manifested only when the normal cells of the body acquire genomic instability over a given period of time and obtain the ability to undergo replicative immortality. The weakening of the telomere & telomerase during cell divisions generates a condition of chromosomal instability. This contributes to major genomic rearrangements that could lead to tumorigenesis in some cases.

Telomeres (TTAGGG) repetitive DNA protein complexes present at the ends of the chromosomes are vital for the survival of the cancer cells. The telomeres protein complexes are maintained by an enzyme referred to as “telomerase” in the spanning majority of the tumor. The mechanisms that determine the telomere length (TL) maintenance & telomerase expression include epigenetic, non-transcriptional, and transcriptional regulation. An in-depth understanding of the given mechanisms could serve pivotal for the medical researchers out there. It could also serve to be significant targets for leading to the early detection of cancer, determining the disease prognosis, and developing the necessary therapeutics for curing cancer effectively.

Targeting Telomerase for Cancer Therapy

Ideally, most of the therapeutic cancer targets are the ones that serve specific for particular tumors and might pose a threat towards maintaining the malignancy. As the potential role of telomerase in the uncontrolled proliferative cells has been demonstrated repeatedly, it is believed to be a potential anti-cancer target. The assessment of the importance of telomerase in demonstrating that is inhibition could destroy the telomerase-producing cancers could lay the path to the future of cancer cure.