Quantitative analysis of human telomerase reverse transcriptase in pancreatic cancer.Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 01; 12(7 Pt 1):2066-9.CC
Although telomerase activity is a promising diagnostic marker, clinical introduction of this marker for cancer diagnosis is still problematic due to the lack of means of evaluating sample quality. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), one of the subunits of telomerase, is also a promising diagnostic marker. In the present study, we did large-scale analysis of 88 pancreatic juice samples to determine the feasibility of quantitative analysis of hTERT mRNA for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. We found significant differences in hTERT expression among carcinoma-derived, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)-derived, and chronic pancreatitis-derived juice samples. Results showed that quantitative analyses of hTERT mRNAs are more useful in discriminating carcinoma from IPMN than from chronic pancreatitis. When the specificity was set at 100%, the sensitivity for differentiation between carcinoma and IPMN was 43.5%, whereas the sensitivity of cytologic examination was 22.0%. There were significant differences in hTERT expression among carcinoma cells, IPMN cells, and normal ductal cells isolated from pancreatic tissues by microdissection. Lymphocytes and hyperplastic epithelial cells isolated from tissues with the histologic appearance of pancreatitis showed various expression levels of hTERT. Our results suggest that quantitative analysis of hTERT mRNA in pancreatic juice is advantageous over cytologic analysis for differentiation between carcinoma and IPMN but probably not for differentiation between carcinoma and chronic pancreatitis.