Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(40):2748-2751
Summary The role of telomeres in cancer Ugeskr Læger 2010;172(40):2748-2751 Telomeres are a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer. On one hand, telomeres limit the cells' ability to divide and thereby restrict the uninhibited growth seen in cancer. On the other hand, short telomeres can initiate the chromosome instability that characterizes cancer. Diseases with the combination of short telomeres and high cancer risk are seen, but until now the use of telomeres as predictors of cancer has, in general, been unsuccessful. Telomeres and telomerase play an important role in further cancer development. Researchers are trying to exploit this in the development of new cancer therapies.