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High Telomerase Activity in Lung Infiltrates/Malignancy Risk


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High Telomerase Activity in Lung Infiltrates Indicates Malignancy Risk

NEW YORK APR 14, 2008 (Reuters Health) - The detection of telomerase activity in aspirates obtained by transthoracic fine-needle biopsy (TFNB) of peripheral lung infiltrates is an indication of a high risk of malignancy in cases with false-negative cytological results, investigators report in the April issue of Thorax.

Dr. Tomasz Targowski of the Military Institute of Health Service in Warsaw, Poland, and colleagues performed TFNB of the focal lesion in 100 patients with a peripheral infiltrate of the lung.

Lung cancer was newly diagnosed in 84 patients while 16 lesions were benign. Lung cancer was identified in 56 cases, or in 66.7%, during the first TFNB. Increased telomerase activity was identified in 61 aspirates, or 72.6%.

There were no false positive results on cytological exam but telomerase activity was increased in one benign case.

The diagnostic sensitivity of the combination of cytological examination and telomerase activity assay was 89.3% compared with 66.7% for cytology alone. However, the combination had a lower specificity at 96.9% compared with 100% for cytology alone, Dr. Targowski and colleagues report.

The diagnostic accuracy was 90.0% with the combination and 72.0% with cytology alone. The negative predictive value was 65.2% with the combination but only 36.4% with cytological examination alone.

"Improvement in the negative predictive value from 36.4% to 62.5% means that the absence of cancer cells and lack of telomerase activity in the aspirate from a peripheral infiltration of the lung increases the probability that the pulmonary lesion is benign by almost two-fold," the investigators point out.

"In summary," they conclude, "detection of telomerase activity in oligo-cell aspirates from peripheral tumours of the lung could be a helpful warning of a malignant origin of the lung infiltration when no cancer cells are found in the aspirates."

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(CancerPage, Reuters Health, Source: Thorax, April 14, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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