A Quantitative Assay for Telomerase Enzyme Activity Predicts Severity of Disease in Neuroblastoma

Leroy Trombetta, Tommy Brown, Kathy Moore, Mary Joe Dehart, Robert Sawin, Kenneth Azarow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether telomerase enzyme activity correlates with tumor stage, grade, and prognosis using a quantitative telomerase assay. Method: A new semiquantitative assay for telomerase enzyme activity (Telomerase Repeat Amplification Protocol-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) was employed on 21 neuroblastoma specimens. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results were compared to tumor stage, patient age, and overall tumor aggressiveness. The principle investigator was blinded to all clinical data. A Student's t test was used to determine significance (p < 0.05). Results: Telomerase activity correlated with stage of tumor (p < 0.007). Age of patient did not correlate with telomerase activity independently. Conclusions: Telomerase enzyme activity was predictive for neuroblastoma stage. This implies that increased telomerase activity is involved in tumor dedifferentiation. The semiquantitative telomerase assay may be used as a rapid prognostic indicator and serve as a guide to initiating treatment in childhood neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-416
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Surgery
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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