Increased telomerase activities in human pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas

Masahiro Tsutsumi, Toshifumi Tsujiuchi, Osamu Ishikawa, Toshimitsu Majima, Masatoshi Yoshimoto, Yasutaka Sasaki, Tomokazu Fukuda, Hiroaki Oohigashi, Yoichi Konishi

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Telomerase is a key enzyme with regard to immortalization of cancer cells and increased activity has been demonstrated in various human malignant neoplasms. Since little is known of its role in pancreatic cancers, we investigated changes in telomerase activity in human pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas and compared the frequency of increased telomerase activity with the presence of R-ras gene mutations. The samples were obtained from 38 pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas and 7 tumor surrounding tissues at surgical resection. Telomerase activity was examined by telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay and terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length was examined by Southern analysis. K-ras mutation was examined by means of polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism analysis. Among 38 pancreatic carcinomas, 32 (84%) exhibited increased telomerase activities with no apparent relation to the histological type of tumor, tumor size, regional lymphnode involvement and distant metastasis or clinical stage. In tissue surrounding the tumor, telomerase activity was not detected. TRF length tended to be reduced in pancreatic carcinomas. Mutations of K-ras gene were found in 24 out of the 38 (63%) cases. Among the 38 cases, 14 showed increased telomerase activity without K-ras mutation and 4 cases showed K-ras mutation without telomerase activity. These results suggest that increased telomerase activity might be a sensitive genetic diagnostic marker and could be a target for future therapy of pancreatic duct carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-976
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Oct


  • Genetic diagnosis
  • K-ras
  • Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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