Characterisation of blood-derived exosomal hTERT mRNA secretion in cancer patients: A potential pan-cancer marker

Hadar Goldvaser, Anna Gutkin, Einat Beery, Yonatan Edel, Jardena Nordenberg, Ofir Wolach, Ester Rabizadeh, Orit Uziel, Meir Lahav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Telomerase (human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)) is considered a hallmark of cancer. The aim of our study was to evaluate the feasibility of the detection of hTERT transcripts in serum as a â pan-cancer' diagnostic method.Methods:Human telomerase reverse transcriptase mRNA levels were determined in serum and serum-derived exosomes from 133 patients with different malignancies and 45 healthy controls. In four patients hTERT mRNA levels were measured in different clinical stages.Results:Human telomerase reverse transcriptase transcript was absent in all controls and was variably detected in 67.5% of patients with all cancer types. A correlation between hTERT transcript levels and the clinical course was found in several cases.Conclusions:Human telomerase reverse transcriptase mRNA levels may reflect the tumour burden and the clinical status of the patient. In patients with detectable levels, this assay may potentially serve as a diagnostic and follow-up pan-cancer' marker. Owing to the large variety of patients and small sample size in each diagnosis, the statistical power is limited and will be explored further in larger groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2017


FundersFunder number
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
University of Miami
Boston Medical Center


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