Biology Summative: Telomeres, Telomerase, and Cancer Essay

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In current society, cancer is one of the most fatal and prevalent diseases to exist. However, new research being conducted on telomeres and telomerase provides insight on not only the aging process and mortality of cells, but also on how the idea of cell death connects to cancer cells. By gaining knowledge on the supposed immortality of cancer cells, researchers are acquiring a higher understanding of the subject, and attempting to work on alternate techniques to provide treatment for the illness. The connection between telomeres and cancer and the momentous discoveries being made on them is revolutionizing the world through potential current and future applications that have significant implications for cancer treatment, and society, the…show more content…
Another study conducted on human melanoma suggested the link between telomerase activity and cancer; it was discovered that a mutation on the promoter region of a telomere length regulating gene acts as a cancer drivers6, 7. Thus, there is a definite connection between telomeres, telomerase, and cancer. Secondly, the knowledge of this link led to significant implications and applications for cancer treatment, which are highlighted through recent and important discoveries. First of all, current methods of cancer treatment are unreliable; both chemotherapy and radiotherapy have dangerous side effects, including second cancers12, 13. As a result, vigorous research is being conducted in using the connection between telomeres and cancer to treat the illness. One potential solution that scientists discovered is the use of telomerase inhibitors, which would actively inhibit the enzyme10. An experimental anticancer technique that Geron researchers tested is a mixture of the drug Alkeran and an anti-telomerase agent GRN163L10. The drugs hindered the development precancerous cells, and even fought real cancers10. In another experiment, scientists inhibited telomerase activity in a cancer by building complementary RNA strands of the telomerase production gene, which would attach to the telomerase mRNA and obstruct the process9. The

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