During the progression of colon cancer various genetic aberrations accumulate in the DNA. One of the most common genetic alterations are anomalies in the length of the telomeres. Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences (TTAGGG nucleotides) located at the end of chromosomes that protect the end of the chromosome from deterioration or fusion with neighboring chromosomes.
In this article we have studied the association between telomere length and clinical and molecular factors of colorectal cancer. Ultra-sequencing data have been used to estimate the telomere length by bioinformatic techniques. Our analysis show that tumors have telomeres significantly shorter than adjacent normal tissue. We have not observed an association between telomere length and the characteristics of the patient or tumor. However, the most relevant result of our study has been the association between telomere length and the expression of relevant genes in inflammation and the immune response.
This result may be the basis for investigating new therapeutic targets for inflammation by focusing attention on telomere length.