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Telomere maintenance as therapeutic target in embryonal tumours


Shalaby, T; Hiyama, E; Grotzer, M A (2010). Telomere maintenance as therapeutic target in embryonal tumours. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 10(3):196-212.

Abstract

Embryonal tumours most commonly occur in the first few years of life and account for approximately 30% of childhood malignancies. Knowledge of these tumours' genetics has already impacted on their clinical management and further knowledge of their cellular immortalization will hopefully result in novel therapies. The ends of human chromosomes are capped and protected by telomeres; cellular replication, however, causes their loss. A critical length of telomere repeats is required to ensure proper telomere function and avoid the activation of DNA damage pathways that result in senescence and cell death. To proliferate beyond the senescence checkpoint, cells must restore their telomere length. Hence stabilization of telomere is an important step in cell immortalization and carcinogenesis. Telomere maintenance is evident in virtually all types of malignant cells, including embryonal tumours, where either a telomerase-dependent or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism is employed in order to ensure their limitless replicative potential. For this reason effective strategies targeting telomere maintenance in cancer cells require a combination of telomerase and ALT inhibitors. In this review, we are giving an overview about telomere maintenance in childhood tumours and discussing its potential as a new therapeutic target.

Abstract

Embryonal tumours most commonly occur in the first few years of life and account for approximately 30% of childhood malignancies. Knowledge of these tumours' genetics has already impacted on their clinical management and further knowledge of their cellular immortalization will hopefully result in novel therapies. The ends of human chromosomes are capped and protected by telomeres; cellular replication, however, causes their loss. A critical length of telomere repeats is required to ensure proper telomere function and avoid the activation of DNA damage pathways that result in senescence and cell death. To proliferate beyond the senescence checkpoint, cells must restore their telomere length. Hence stabilization of telomere is an important step in cell immortalization and carcinogenesis. Telomere maintenance is evident in virtually all types of malignant cells, including embryonal tumours, where either a telomerase-dependent or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism is employed in order to ensure their limitless replicative potential. For this reason effective strategies targeting telomere maintenance in cancer cells require a combination of telomerase and ALT inhibitors. In this review, we are giving an overview about telomere maintenance in childhood tumours and discussing its potential as a new therapeutic target.

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15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:10 March 2010
Deposited On:21 Feb 2011 12:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:48
Publisher:Bentham Science
ISSN:1871-5206
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2174/1871520611009030196
Related URLs:http://www.benthamdirect.org/pages/content.php?ACAMC/2010/00000010/00000003/0002W.SGM (Publisher)
PubMed ID:20017721

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