Clinical Studies

Although several signal transduction inhibitors that may inhibit telomerase expression have been approved, or are undergoing clinical trials for various indications, their effects on telomerase are not considered primary mechanisms of action, though they may constitute some part of the overall therapeutic effect in some cases. AZT and tamoxifen are known to exhibit antitelomerase activity and are already widely used in clinical practice. In the case of tamoxifen, telomerase inhibition likely represents only a small part of the therapeutic effect, and there is little rationale for testing tamoxifen in tumors where estrogen receptor signaling does not contribute to the etiology. AZT has been used to treat some virus-associated human cancers (Matutes et al. 2001). Interestingly, there is some clinical evidence that telomerase activity is suppressed and telomere lengths are reduced by AZT therapy in HTLV-infected cells of adult T cell lymphoma patients (Datta et al. 2006).

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