Telomerase as a tumor marker in diagnosis of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer

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Early diagnosis of prostate cancer (CaP) can be addressed by studying prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) as precancer (high-grade PIN or HGPIN). This article attempts to analyze the diagnostic role of telomerase as an early marker of carcinogenesis.


Complex urological patient evaluation and assessment of telomerase activity.


Out of 92 patients 44% were diagnosed with CaP, 49% with low-grade PIN (LGPIN) in association with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and 7% with HGPIN in association with BPH. Active telomerase (AT) in prostate biopsy specimens was detected in 98% of patients with CaP, in 33% of patients with HGPIN, and in 20% of patients with LGPIN. In the event of simultaneous detection of AT and PIN in initial prostate biopsy specimens, further monitoring for 0.5–4.0 years revealed CaP development in 50–56% of cases. Further follow-up of patients with PIN and absent telomerase activity in initial biopsy specimens did not demonstrate the development of CaP. The PSA level was significantly higher in patients with active telomerase in the prostate tissue than in telomerase negative patients.


Telomerase activity in the prostate tissue increases the risk of CaP development in patients with PIN. Detection of telomerase activity in prostate biopsy specimens from patients with PIN enables selection of a group of patients with high risk of CaP development and reduction of the number of prostate biopsies performed in other patients. Prostate 74:1043–1051, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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