Telomerase activity and expression and telomere analysis in situ in the course of treatment of childhood leukemias
Samples of blood and marrow from children with leukemia were assayed for telomerase activity and expression on the day of diagnosis and during the course of chemotherapy. A strong correlation between either variables and clinical response was observed in most patients. A unique case was observed in which telomerase activity was only moderately increased on diagnosis; it gradually increased in the course of therapy, and a subsequent decrease occurred only after application of intensified therapy. This patient did not respond to therapy, his disease progressed, and he finally died during intensified therapy. In another patient, analysis of telomere lengths using dideoxy-PRINS revealed a single telomere expansion on a long arm of chromosome 4, suggesting involvement of a telomerase-independent mechanism of telomere elongation. (C) 2000 Academic Press.