Objective To explore the significance of telomerase activity in lung cancer by PCR TRAP and its relationship with the metastasis and gradation of lung cancer. Methods Telomerase activity was measured and compared in twenty four patients with lung cancer and twenty six patients with lung benign lesion, using three different methods TRAP, CEA and ESR. Results Telomerase positive rate was significantly higher in patients with lung cancer than that in patients with benign lung lesion (p<0.01);Stage III to IV is higher than stage I and II. There are no significant difference in the detection of CEA and ESR between lung cancer and benign lesion (p>0.05). The negative rate of telomerase was 22.2% (4/18) in advanced lung cancer. The positive rate of telomerase was 19.2% (5/26) in lung benign lesion. Sensitivity of pneral blood's telomerase activity in lung cancer was higher than that of CEA and ESR (p>0.05). There were no significant difference in the specificity (p>0.05). Conclusion Telomerase activity might be a tumor marker for detecting lung cancer cells in peripheral blood. The detection of telomerase was effective in the diagnosis and gradation of lung cancer. It might improve the specificity and sensitivity of diagnosis of lung cancer by further improvement of detecting method.
Journal of Clinical Pulmonary Medicine