Circulating hTERT DNA in early breast cancer

Rosa Divella, Stefania Tommasi, Rosanna Lacalamita, Antonella Daniele, Ines Abbate, Vito Michele Garrisi, Eufemia Savino, Maria Coviello, Vincenza Rubini, Giovanni Simone, Angelo Paradiso, Michele Quaranta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The objective of the study was to quantify the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene in the circulating DNA of patients with primary breast cancer (BC) and to test its correlation with clinical parameters of the disease. Patients and Methods: One hundred and twenty-one BC patients, 30 patients with fibroadenoma (NBC) and 50 healthy women were enrolled. Results: The level of hTERT in the plasma was significantly different in BC, NBC and controls (p+/progesterone receptor (PgR)+ compared to the ER-/PgR- patients (p=0.03). Higher hTERT levels were associated with higher human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2/Neu expression: score 0-1 vs. score 2+ (p=0.01) and vs. score 3+ (p=0.02). Finally, hTERT was significantly inversely correlated with the carbohydrate antigen (CA) 15.3 serum level (p=0.001). Conclusion: Circulating hTERT DNA has a better diagnostic value than CA 15.3 in early breast cancer disease and could be a possible candidate as a tumor marker in patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma positive to steroid hormonal receptor and with amplification of HER-2/Neu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2845-2849
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009



  • Breast cancer
  • Circulating DNA
  • hTERT
  • Real-time PCR
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Divella, R., Tommasi, S., Lacalamita, R., Daniele, A., Abbate, I., Garrisi, V. M., Savino, E., Coviello, M., Rubini, V., Simone, G., Paradiso, A., & Quaranta, M. (2009). Circulating hTERT DNA in early breast cancer. Anticancer Research, 29(7), 2845-2849.