Telomerase activity is not a prognostic factor in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Srdan Verstovsek, Francis J. Giles, Susan O'Brien, Stefan Faderl, Hagop M. Kantarjian, Michael J. Keating, Maher Albitar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We measured telomerase activity (TA) in bone marrow samples from 214 patients with CLL and correlated it with patients' characteristics and survival. In >50% of cases (126/214; 59%) no detectable TA was found. There was no difference in TA between previously treated (n=153) and untreated (n=61) patients (P=0.4), or patients with various Rai (0-IV) stages (P=0.85). TA correlated significantly with white blood cell and lymphocyte count (P=0.02 and 0.01, respectively) but not with bone marrow cellularity, β2-microglobulin (β2M), or other patient characteristics. Patients who had no TA had slightly lower β2M and lower lymphocyte counts (P=0.5 and 0.04, respectively) as compared with patients with detectable TA. However, there was no correlation between TA and survival. This data suggests that TA may not play a significant role in the clinical behavior of CLL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • CLL
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • PCR
  • Prognosis
  • Survival
  • TA
  • TRAP
  • Telomerase activity
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • telomerase activity
  • telomeric repeat amplification protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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