Scientists discover telomerase as cause of chronic inflammation in human cancers

Published on November 22, 2012 at 4:52 AM · 2 Comments

1.A*STAR scientists have identified the enzyme, telomerase, as a cause of chronic inflammation in human cancers. Chronic inflammation is now recognized as a key underlying cause for the development of many human cancers, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. This enzyme, which is known to be responsible for providing cancer cells the endless ability to divide, is now found to also jumpstart and maintain chronic inflammation in cancers.

2.In identifying this enzyme, inflammation can be prevented or reduced, and the common ailments can be alleviated. This discovery has considerable impact on healthcare because developing drugs to target telomerase can greatly reduce healthcare costs.

3.Currently, the annual costs and expenses associated with cancer and metabolic diseases such as diabetes amount to about $132 billion in the US alone . Although many safe and effective anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin are currently available on the market, these drugs sometimes have side effects because blocking inflammation is typically detrimental to normal physiology. Hence there exists a need for the development of cost-effective drugs that are targeted, so as to minimize side effects.

4.This collaborative research was conducted by scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) led by Assoc Prof Vinay Tergaonkar, A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and National University of Singapore. Other clinical collaborators include Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. The research findings were published on Nov. 18, 2012, in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Cell Biology.

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Comments
  1. Brad Arnold Brad Arnold United States says:

    The length of the telomere cap on the end of our DNA strands determines when the cell will become a zombie cell, leading to inflammation, senescence, and death of the organism.  But hey, if you are concerned with minimizing the inflammation of diseased cells because that seems to be the problem, then go ahead and target the enzyme telomerase.  A quick glance indicates to me the cure may be worse than the disease.

    • scott scott United Kingdom says:

      im not sure if they mean telomerase in cancer cells or in normal cells. from what i have seen, a lot of researchers say that cancer makes telomerase, and telomerase dosent cause cancer. i dont know who to believe anymore lol

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