Targeting critical steps of cancer metastasis and recurrence using telomerase template antagonists

Z. Gunnur Dikmen, Taner Ozgurtas, Sergei M. Gryaznov, Brittney Shea Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Scopus citations


Metastasis, tumor relapse, and drug resistance remain major obstacles in the treatment of cancer. Therefore, more research on the mechanisms of these processes in disease is warranted for improved treatment options. Recent evidence suggests that the capability to sustain tumor growth and metastasis resides in a subpopulation of cells, termed cancer stem cells or tumor-initiating cells. Continuous proliferation and self-renewal are characteristics of stem/progenitor cells. Telomerase and the maintenance of telomeres are key players in the ability of stem and cancer cells to bypass senescence and be immortal. Therefore, telomerase inhibitors have the therapeutic potential for reducing tumor relapse by targeting cancer stem cells and other processes involved in metastasis. Herein we review the role of telomerase in the immortal phenotype of cancer and cancer stem cells, targeting telomerase in cancer, and discuss other opportunities for telomerase inhibitors to target critical steps in cancer metastasis and recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer stem cell
  • Metastasis
  • Targeted cancer therapy
  • Telomerase
  • Thio-phosphoramidate oligonucleotide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

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