Telomeres are tandem-repeated DNA sequences located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere length in human somatic cells gradually decreases with the number of cell divisions and is regarded as a marker of somatic cell turnover. Activity of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein enzyme, is found in most cancer tissues and is generally undetected in normal human somatic tissues. Thus, detection of telomere length and telomerase activity have utility in the early diagnosis of colitic Cancer and colorectal cancer respectively, and telomerase may be a new target for therapeutic intervention.
- Colorectal cancer