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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2267;

Telomeres and Telomerase in Hematopoietic Dysfunction: Prognostic Implications and Pharmacological Interventions

Institute for Occupational and Social Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Department of Urology, University Medicine Greifswald, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging)
PDF [238 KB, uploaded 28 October 2017]


Leukocyte telomere length (TL) has been suggested as a marker of biological age in healthy individuals, but can also reflect inherited and acquired hematopoietic dysfunctions or indicate an increased turnover of the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell compartment. In addition, TL is able to predict the response rate of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), indicates clinical outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and can be used as screening tool for genetic sequencing of selected genes in patients with inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS). In tumor cells and clonal hematopoietic disorders, telomeres are continuously stabilized by reactivation of telomerase, which can selectively be targeted by telomerase-specific therapy. The use of the telomerase inhibitor Imetelstat in patients with essential thrombocythmia or myelofibrosis as well as the use of dendritic cell-based telomerase vaccination in AML patients with complete remissions are promising examples for anti-telomerase targeted strategies in hematologic malignancies. In contrast, the elevation in telomerase levels through treatment with androgens has become an exciting clinical intervention for patients with BMFS. Here, we review recent developments, which highlight the impact of telomeres and telomerase targeted therapies in hematologic dysfunctions. View Full-Text
Keywords: telomere; telomerase; hematologic dysfunction telomere; telomerase; hematologic dysfunction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Vasko, T.; Kaifie, A.; Stope, M.B.; Kraus, T.; Ziegler, P. Telomeres and Telomerase in Hematopoietic Dysfunction: Prognostic Implications and Pharmacological Interventions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2267.

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