Telomerase activity in small cell esophageal carcinoma.
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Small cell carcinoma of the esophagus is a rare and aggressive malignant tumor. Telomerase activation is common in human cancers. There is a lack of data on telomerase activity in esophageal small cell cancers. The present report studied the role of telomerase activity in esophageal small cell carcinoma. The clinicopathologic data of five patients with small cell carcinoma of the esophagus who underwent primary surgical treatment between 1991 and 2000 were studied. Telomeric repeat amplification protocol assays were used to investigate telomerase activity in these tumors. The proliferative activity (MIB-1) and p53 expression of these tumors were also studied using immunohistochemistry and correlated with the telomerase activity. All five small cell carcinomas showed detectable telomerase activity in the primary tumor. Two out of the five morphologically normal esophageal mucosae adjacent to the primary tumor had detectable telomerase activity. There was no correlation between the p53 expression, tumor stage, survival of patients, and the presence of telomerase activity. High MIB-1 expression in esophageal small cell carcinomas was associated with high telomerase activity. Telomerase activation is common in small cell carcinoma of the esophagus. This fact may find application in anti-telomerase treatment for this aggressive tumor.
Diseases of the Esophagus