Article open access publication

Risk of multiple myeloma is associated with polymorphisms within telomerase genes and telomere length

International Journal of Cancer, Wiley, ISSN 0020-7136

Volume 136, 5, 2015

DOI:10.1002/ijc.29101, Dimensions: pub.1030475067, PMID: 25066524,



  1. (1) German Cancer Research Center, grid.7497.d
  2. (2) Semmelweis University, grid.11804.3c
  3. (3) Institut Curie Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer Team, INSERM, U900 Paris France
  4. (4) Medical University of Lodz, grid.8267.b
  5. (5) University of Pisa, grid.5395.a
  6. (6) Cracow University of Technology, grid.22555.35
  7. (7) University of Minho, grid.10328.38
  8. (8) Hospital of Southern Jutland, grid.416811.b, Southern Denmark Region
  9. (9) University of Southern Denmark Institute of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences Odense C Denmark
  10. (10) Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, grid.411380.f
  11. (11) Pfizer/University of Granada/Andalusian Regional Government Genomic Oncology Area, GENYO, Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research Granada Spain
  12. (12) National Research Centre for the Working Environment, grid.418079.3
  13. (13) Complejo Hospitalario de Salamanca, grid.411258.b
  14. (14) Roskilde Hospital, Copenhagen University Department of Hematology Roskilde Denmark
  15. (15) Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, grid.7849.2
  16. (16) Hospital Universitario 12 De Octubre, grid.144756.5
  17. (17) Morales Meseguer General University Hospital Department of Hematology Murcia Spain
  18. (18) Copernicus Memorial Hospital, grid.413767.0
  19. (19) Holycross Cancer Center Hematology Clinic Kielce Poland
  20. (20) University of Barcelona, grid.5841.8
  21. (21) Hospital of Southern Jutland Clinic of Immunology, Laboratory Center Sønderborg Denmark
  22. (22) Heidelberg University, grid.7700.0
  23. (23) Rzeszow Regional Hospital Division of Hematology Rzeszow Poland
  24. (24) Hospital de Câncer de Barretos, grid.427783.d


Compelling biological and epidemiological evidences point to a key role of genetic variants of the TERT and TERC genes in cancer development. We analyzed the genetic variability of these two gene regions using samples of 2,267 multiple myeloma (MM) cases and 2,796 healthy controls. We found that a TERT variant, rs2242652, is associated with reduced MM susceptibility (OR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.72-0.92; p = 0.001). In addition we measured the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a subgroup of 140 cases who were chemotherapy-free at the time of blood donation and 468 controls, and found that MM patients had longer telomeres compared to controls (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 0.63-2.24; p(trend)  = 0.01 comparing the quartile with the longest LTL versus the shortest LTL). Our data suggest the hypothesis of decreased disease risk by genetic variants that reduce the efficiency of the telomerase complex. This reduced efficiency leads to shorter telomere ends, which in turn may also be a marker of decreased MM risk.


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Research area: Medicine

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Research area: Medicine

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Times Cited: 19

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