Telomerase functions as a reverse transcriptase enzyme in the process of telomere synthesis and telomerase activity have been detectedin a large part of neoplastic tissues, whereas in normal somatic cells they were low or undetectable. The aim of this study was to investigatethe telomerase mRNA detection in the serum of patients with a prostate tumor by using real-time reverse transcription PCR. The results werecompared with biological samples obtained by age-matched normal donors and by patients with cardiovascular or metabolic diseases. Ourdata demonstrated that telomerase mRNA is detectable in the serum of patients with prostate cancer whereas it is not amplifiable in normaldonors. This marker, assayed with the molecular method of quantitative PCR in serum, may be useful for diagnosing and monitoring prostatecancer patients.
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