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Evolutionary hypothesis of telomere length in primary breast cancer and brain tumour patients: a tracer for genomic—tumour heterogeneity and instability


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It was previously reported that tumour samples had shorter telomeres than the surrounding normal tissue. Hereby, the initial sign of correlation between malignant tissue and telomere behaviour could be noticed. Bridging knowledge between germ and somatic cells could facilitate understanding cellular evolution. The aim of our investigation was to provide evidence for the evolutionary hypothesis of TL (telomere length) in primary BC (breast cancer) and BTs (brain tumours), which might be applied as a prognostic and/or predictive marker. DNA extraction from the frozen tissues was performed using high pure PCR template preparation kit. Standard protocol of Telo TTAGGG Telomere Length Assay kit, a non-radioactive chemiluminescent assay, was used. The protein expression in extracted cells was analysed by immunofluorescence. We also detected telomerase activity. The G/T (genomic/tumour ratio) for TL in two groups of patients affected with primary BC and primary BT revealed significant differences in both BC patients (P=0.025) and in BTs (P=0.001). The pattern of telomere signals by Q-FISH (quantitative fluorescent in situ hybridization) show that in all samples, except one, SI (signal intensity) has been significantly decreased in tissue related to blood, either in BC patients or in patients with BTs (0.041≥P≥0.001). However, the data achieved by Q-FISH support the results of Southern blot. These data reflect a significant diversity either in BC or in BT patients, providing evidence for the evolutionary hypothesis of TL in cancer development and progression.

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