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BMC Cancer

, 10:312

First Online: 21 June 2010Received: 15 July 2009Accepted: 21 June 2010DOI: 10.1186-1471-2407-10-312

Cite this article as: He, X., Qiao, Q., Ge, N. et al. BMC Cancer 2010 10: 312. doi:10.1186-1471-2407-10-312


BackgroundTelomerase expression is one of the characteristics of gastric cancer GC cells and telomerase activity is frequently up-regulated by a variety of mechanisms during GC development. Therefore, we hypothesized that elevated levels of activated telomerase might enhance GC risk due to increased propagation of cells with DNA damage, such as induced by γ-radiation.

MethodsTo explore this hypothesis, 246 GC cases and 246 matched controls were recruited in our case-control study. TRAP-ELISA was used to assess the levels of telomerase activity at baseline and after γ-radiation and the γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity defined as after γ-irradiation-baseline in cultured peripheral blood lymphocytes PBLs.

ResultsOur data showed that there was no significant difference for the baseline telomerase activity between GC cases and controls 10.17 ± 7.21 vs. 11.02 ± 8.03, p = 0.168. However, after γ-radiation treatment, γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity was significantly higher in the cases than in the controls 1.51 ± 0.93 vs. 1.22 ± 0.66, p < 0.001. Using the median value of γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity in the controls as a cutoff point, we observed that high γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity was associated with a significantly increased GC risk adjusted odds ratio, 2.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.83-3.18. Moreover, a dose response association was noted between γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity and GC risk. Age, but not sex, smoking and drinking status seem to have a modulating effect on the γ-radiation-induced telomerase activities in both cases and controls.

ConclusionOverall, our findings for the first time suggest that the increased γ-radiation-induced telomerase activity in PBLs might be associated with elevated GC risk. Further confirmation of this association using a prospective study design is warranted.

Xianli He, Qing Qiao contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Xianli He - Qing Qiao - Naijian Ge - Jing Nan - Shuqun Shen - Zizhong Wang - Yefa Yang - Guoqiang Bao


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