Home Hematology and Oncology Telomere Length May Help Predict Lung Cancer Risk

Telomere Length May Help Predict Lung Cancer Risk

No significant association seen between telomere length and other types of cancer

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with long telomeres are at increased risk for lung adenocarcinoma but not other types of cancer, according to a study published online July 2 in Human Molecular Genetics.

Researchers analyzed genetic data from 51,725 cancer patients and 62,035 people without cancer to learn more about the links between telomere length and the risk of five types of cancer: breast, lung, colorectal, ovarian, and prostate.

The team found an association between long telomeres and increased risk of lung adenocarcinoma (odds ratio of 2.78 per 1 kb increase in telomere length). No significant association was noted between telomere length and any of the other types of cancer.

“Our work provides compelling evidence of a relationship between long telomeres and increased risk for lung adenocarcinoma,” lead author Brandon Pierce, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public health sciences at the University of Chicago, said in a university news release. “The prevailing hypothesis has been that short telomeres are bad for health, but it appears that this does not necessarily translate to some types of cancer.”

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