Alternative Splice Variant Patterns of Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) in Thyroid Tumors Distinguish Benign from Malignant

Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is activated in thyroid cancer. Despite this, its usefulness as a marker in the distinction of benign from malignant neoplasm has not been proven. hTERT is known to have several deletion isoforms or alternative splice variants in addition to its full length isoform: a-, �, a-�, and r-deletions. JHU scientists now report a difference in hTERT alternative splice variant patterns between benign and malignant thyroid tumors as well as demonstrate the feasibility of testing these differences in thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies. Furthermore, they also demonstrate that c-myc gene expression is associated with the gene expression of 4 hTERT isoforms. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) Differences in hTERT alternative splice variant gene expression patterns can distinguish benign from malignant thyroid tumors. This could be applied to all cancer types. Furthermore, more detailed knowledge of hTERT alternative splice variant patterns has powerful implications for understanding and treating cancer.

Inventor(s): Zeiger, Martha A.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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