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  • 1
    Keywords: CELLS ; TUMORS ; FREQUENCY ; POPULATIONS ; MELANOCYTIC NEVI ; GLIOMAS ; BRAF MUTATIONS ; HUMAN CANCERS ; OCCUR ; DISEASE RECURRENCE
    Abstract: We previously reported a disease segregating causal germline mutation in a melanoma family and recurrent somatic mutations in metastasized tumours from unrelated patients in the core promoter region of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene. Here we show that the TERT promoter mutations, besides causing an increased gene expression, associate with increased patient age, increased Breslow thickness and tumour ulceration in 287 primary melanomas. The mutations are more frequent at both intermittently and chronically sun-exposed sites than non-exposed sites and tend to co-occur with BRAF and CDKN2A alterations. The association with parameters generally connected with poor outcome, coupled with high recurrence and mechanistic relevance, raises the possibility of the eventual use of TERT promoter mutations in the disease management.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24569790
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  • 2
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; CELL ; LUNG-CANCER ; TUMORS ; HIGH-FREQUENCY ; UROTHELIAL CARCINOMA ; GENE PROMOTER ; THYROID-CANCER ; WHOLE-GENOME ; DISEASE RECURRENCE
    Abstract: Mutations in the promoter of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) genes constitute the most recurrent somatic alterations in urothelial carcinoma of bladder. In this study, we screened DNA from 327 urothelial bladder carcinomas from well-documented patients, with different stages and grades and known TERT promoter mutational status, for FGFR3 alterations and measured relative telomere length (RTL). Although, the frequency of the TERT promoter mutations was higher than those in FGFR3; however, the alterations at the two loci occurred together more frequently than per chance [Odds ratio (OR) = 4.93, 95% CI = 2.72-8.92, p 〈 0.0001]. While tumors with TERT promoter and FGFR3 mutations had shorter RTL than those without mutations (p 〈 0.0001), the TERT promoter mutations in conjunction with the common allele of the rs2853669 polymorphism defined sub-group of patients with an observed decreased overall survival (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.00-4.61) and increased recurrence in patients with TaG1+TaG2 disease categories (OR = 3.68, 95%CI = 1.12-12.05). The finding of shorter telomeres in tumors with TERT promoter and/or FGFR3 mutations than without mutations implies mechanistic relevance of telomere biology in cancer progression. The observed association with recurrence and survival shows that the TERT promoter mutations can potentially be used as markers to refine selection of patients for different treatments. The overwhelming frequency of the TERT promoter mutations also represents a case for development of an eventual therapeutic target.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25809917
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; TUMORS ; NERVOUS-SYSTEM ; GLIOMA ; temozolomide ; TELOMERASE ACTIVITY ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; SECONDARY GLIOBLASTOMAS ; PHASE-3 TRIAL
    Abstract: Background. Activating somatic mutations in the promoter region of the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) have been detected in several cancers. In this study we investigated the TERT promoter mutations and their impact on patient survival in World Health Organization grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Methods. The TERT core promoter region containing the previously described mutations and a common functional polymorphism (rs2853669) was sequenced in tumors and blood samples from 192 GBM patients. O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status was assessed by pyrosequencing in 177 (92.2%) cases. Relevant clinical data were obtained from a prospectively maintained electronic database. Results. We detected specific (-124 C〉T and -146 C〉T) TERT promoter mutations in 143/178 (80.3%) primary GBM and 4/14 (28.6%) secondary GBM (P〈 .001). The presence of TERT mutations was associated with poor overall survival, and the effect was confined to the patients who did not carry the variant G-allele for the rs2853669 polymorphism. An exploratory analysis suggested that TERT mutations might be prognostic only in patients who had incomplete resections and no temozolomide chemotherapy. Conclusions. In this study, specific TERT promoter mutations were markers of primary GBM and predicted patient survival in conjunction with a common functional polymorphism. The prognostic impact of TERT mutations was absent in patients with complete resections and temozolomide chemotherapy. If confirmed in additional studies, these findings may have clinical implications, that is, TERT mutations appear to characterize tumors that require aggressive treatment.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25140036
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