Telomere length measurement in tumor and non-tumor cells as a valuable prognostic for tumor progression.Cancer Genet 2019; 238:50-61CG
Telomere shortening has been supposed to be implicated in both aging and various human diseases especially carcinogenesis process. This phenomenon can lead to a chromosomal instability, contributing to a cell immortalization and tumor induction. In our study, we analyzed the role of telomere shortening in cancer progression, in Tunisian patients with digestive cancer. We measured the absolute telomere length in tumoral vs healthy adjacent tissues of each patient by using a q-RT PCR method and we investigated the relationship between telomere length and various sociodemographic and clinical parameters such as age, sex, tumor stage. In this pathological situation, we observed that, starting from 60 years of age, the telomere length increases in healthy mucosa and that in both healthy and cancer tissues, patients under 60 years have shorter telomeres, suggesting the telomere lengthening becomes more active with age. Finally, a positive correlation between normal and cancer tissues in both non-metastatic and metastatic stages, indicates telomere length in cancer tissue depends essentially on tumor stages. Our data allow us to suggest that telomere length depends on sex and age in healthy tissue while shortening and lengthening fluctuates considerably according to the tumor stage.