Telomeres And Cancer

As a cell begins to become cancerous, it divides more often, and its telomeres become very short. If its telomeres get too short, the cell may die.

Often times, these cells escape death by making more telomerase enzyme, which prevents the telomeres from getting even shorter.

Many cancers have shortened telomeres, including pancreatic, bone, prostate, bladder, lung, kidney, and head and neck.\

Measuring telomerase may be a way to detect cancer. And if scientists can learn how to stop telomerase, they might be able to fight cancer by making cancer cells age and die.

In one experiment, researchers blocked telomerase activity in human breast and prostate cancer cells growing in the laboratory, prompting the tumor cells to die.

But there are risks. Blocking telomerase could impair fertility, wound healing, and production of blood cells and immune system cells.

Source: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/

About The Author

Katherine Baltazar

I am a media reporter writing for the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry. I've been writing and covering salons, beauty products and hair treatments for the pace 5 years.

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