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Telomere Length in Renal Cell Carcinoma: The Jekyll and Hyde Biomarker of Ageing of the Kidney

Authors Morais M, Dias F, Teixeira AL, Medeiros R

Received 5 April 2019

Accepted for publication 2 November 2019

Published 6 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 1669—1679


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Seema Singh

Video abstract of 'Telomere length in Renal Cell Carcinoma' [ID 211225].

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Mariana Morais,1,2,* Francisca Dias,1,3,* Ana Luísa Teixeira,1 Rui Medeiros1– 5

1Molecular Oncology and Viral Pathology Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto 4200-072, Portugal; 2Research Department, LPCC- Portuguese League Against Cancer (NRNorte), Porto 4200-172, Portugal; 3ICBAS, Abel Salazar Institute for the Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 4FMUP, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto 4200-319, Portugal; 5CEBIMED, Faculty of Health Sciences, Fernando Pessoa University, Porto 4249-004, Portugal

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Ana Luísa Teixeira
Molecular Oncology and Viral Pathology Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, Porto 4200-072, Portugal
Tel +351 22 508 4000 ext: 5410
Fax +351 22 508 4001

Abstract: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a heterogeneous group of cancers where the clear cell (ccRCC) is the most common and the most lethal. The absence of accurate diagnostic and follow-up biomarkers along with the time-limited response to therapies may explain the lethality and shows the necessity of new sensitive and specific biomarkers. One of the most studied molecules are the telomeres: specialized ribonucleoprotein structures that keep the structural integrity of the genome. Among other features, telomere length (TL) has been widely studied in several tumor models regarding its biomarker potential, due to the easy detection and quantification. The scope of this review was to analyze all the information about this parameter in RCC. There was some disparity in the results of the studies, since some pointed to an association between short TL and risk or poor outcome of RCC; others between long TL and RCC outcome and some did not find any association. We propose some epidemiological and biological explanations to these differences. The telomeres may play a dual role during RCC carcinogenesis in the early stages, short telomeres may increase RCC risk and in late carcinogenesis, long telomeres seem to be associated with tumor prognosis. However, the controversy of the results along with the lack of specificity are some problems that need to be clarified for the usage of TL as a prognostic biomarker.

Keywords: telomere length, biological age, kidney, cancer, biomarker

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