Careful histological confirmation and microdissection reveal telomerase activity in otherwise telomerase-negative breast cancers

Lisa A. Carey, Catigan A. Hedican, Gregory S. Henderson, Christopher B. Umbricht, Jeffrey S. Dome, Debora Varon, Saraswati Sukumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Studies of invasive breast cancers consistently identify a subset of tumors without telomerase activity, compromising its utility as a tumor marker. Telomerase-negative tumors may represent a biologically different subset, or the result could be attributed to assay imperfections. To resolve this issue, we tested 105 invasive breast cancers for telomerase activity and found that 23 (22%) tumors were telomerase negative. Careful histological confirmation of an adjacent cryosection and/or microdissection of pure tumor cells reduced this number to 5 (5%). Thus, truly telomerase-negative invasive breast cancers are rare, making this enzyme a potentially very useful tumor marker in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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