Detection of telomerase activity in exfoliated cancer cells obtained from bile.

T. Itoi, K. Ohyashiki, N. Yahata, Y. Shinohara, K. Takei, K. Takeda, K. Nagao, H. Hisatomi, Y. Ebihara, J. W. Shay, T. Saito

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14 Scopus citations


Telomerase is detected by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay in more than 85% of primary cancers. In the present study, we determined telomerase activity using exfoliated bile cells obtained from biliary tract neoplasia specimens. The aim of this study was to provide additional information regarding minimally invasive approaches to the detection of biliary tract cancer in combination with routine cytologic examination. We analyzed for telomerase activity bile juice from patients with gallbladder carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, cholecystitis and cholangitis. Semiquantitative determination of telomerase activity was performed using both a fluorescence-based TRAP assay on cell extracts and at the cellular level by an in situ TRAP assay. The fluorescence-based TRAP assay detected bile telomerase activity in samples from 4 of 10 patients with biliary tract cancer. In contrast, the in situ TRAP assay detected telomerase positive cells in samples from 6 of 10 patients with biliary tract cancer. However, only one of these samples showed class V cytology. A combination of semiquantitative analysis and an in situ TRAP assay to detect telomerase positive cells may improve the diagnosis of biliary tract cancers with the combination of routine cytologic examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1067
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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