Join the club for FREE to access the whole archive and other member benefits.

Telomere shortening - a new milestone in cancer therapy


Key points from article :

Telomeres - caps at the end of DNA, might have a role to play in managing cancer.

“DNA in telomeres shorten when cells divide, eventually halting cell division” - Titia de Lange, researcher.

When this happens cell is unable to divide anymore and dies.

However, in cancer cells, an enzyme called telomerase is triggered.

Telomerase prevents telomere shortening, and the cell can divide indefinitely.

Researchers created cells with TINF2 gene mutation.

The TINF2 gene controls the TIN2 protein, which is responsible for telomere length.

Telomeres were found to be “too long” in these cells.

“Loss of the telomere tumour suppressor pathway leads to breast, colorectal, thyroid cancers & melanoma". "These cancers would normally have been blocked by telomere shortening."

This breakthrough could help develop innovative cancer prevention and treatment strategies.

Research by Rockefeller University published in eLife.

Shortening telomere length in cancerous cells will prevent them from dividing

Mentioned in this article:

Tap on icon for description, click on resource name for more details.


Non-profit journal publishing work in all areas of biology and medicine


Private graduate university in New York City.


Director of Anderson Center for Cancer Research, the Leon Hess professor and the head of Laboratory Cell Biology and Genetics at Rockefeller University.[1]