gms | German Medical Science

27. Deutscher Krebskongress

Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft e. V.

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Are telomerase levels and immunohistochemical hTERT assessment prognostic markers of tumours or tumour margin tissues from head-neck squamous cell carcinomas

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Eva-Maria Fabricius - Universitätsklinikum Charite - CVK - Mund-, Kiefer-, Gesichtschirurgie, Berlin , Deutschland
  • Ulricke Gurr - Universitätsklinikum Charite - CVK - Mund-, Kiefer-, Gesichtschirurgie, Berlin
  • Reem Khoury - Universitätsklinikum Charite - CVK - Mund-, Kiefer-, Gesichtschirurgie, Berlin
  • Gustav-Paul Wildner - Universitätsklinikum -CBB, Robert-Rössle-Klinik (Emeritus), Berlin
  • Jan-Dirk Raguse - Universitätsklinikum Charite - CVK - Mund-, Kiefer-, Gesichtschirurgie, Berlin

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO249

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Veröffentlicht: 20. März 2006

© 2006 Fabricius et al.
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Introduction: Squamous cell carcinomas in the head and neck region (HNSCC) are characterized by a high rate of recurrence and of second primary tumours. The final outcome for patients with HNSCC is determined by progression or metastasis with lethal course of disease. The goal of this study was to investigate whether patients with an elevated risk of local recurrence or second primary carcinoma might be detectable through molecular biological or immunohistochemical proof of telomerase.

Patients and Methods: In a retrospective study we examined if the telomerase activation in the tumour and in tumour margin correlated with different course of disease. For telomerase detection we used the PCR-ELISA method. As a comparative test applying the same tissue samples we analysed for hTERT with various antibodies looking for the immunohistochemical identification of the different telomerase levels detected.

Results: We examined HNSCC tissues from 20 patients as well as the histopatholologically tumour-free tissues of the same patients. 50 % of tumour centre tissues showed increased (30 %) and strongly increased (20 %) levels of telomerase, while 28 % of the carcinoma-free HNSCC-margin tissues had increased telomerase levels. We found no correlation between telomerase activation in tumour centre or tumour margin tissues and the further course of disease. We were able to localize the catalytic subunit of telomerase hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase) with the different antibodies both in the tumour tissues, in the squamous cell epithelium of the tumour tissue margins and in the 20 comparable localizations from patients without tumours as a control. After appropriate pre-treatment of the cryo-conserved tissues we succeeded to detect hTERT in the nucleus with variable intensity of expression. The identification of hTERT did not always run parallel to the proof of telomerase activity.

Conclusion: The outcome of this study does not allow for recommending telomerase detection in the HNSCC-tumours as a prognostic marker.