Telomerase functions as a reverse transcriptase enzyme in the process of telomere synthesis and telomerase activity have been detected in a large part of neoplastic tissues, whereas in normal somatic cells they were low or undetectable. The aim of this study was to investigate the telomerase mRNA detection in the serum of patients with a prostate tumor by using real-time reverse transcription PCR. The results were compared with biological samples obtained by age-matched normal donors and by patients with cardiovascular or metabolic diseases. Our data demonstrated that telomerase mRNA is detectable in the serum of patients with prostate cancer whereas it is not amplifiable in normal donors. This marker, assayed with the molecular method of quantitative PCR in serum, may be useful for diagnosing and monitoring prostate cancer patients.
In addition, STEAP was identified by the strategy of suppression subtractive hybridizations in Los Angeles prostate cancer xenografts. It is expressed in prostate and other cancers, and not in most normal tissue; it can be used as a marker to evaluate biological samples from individuals suspected of having a disease associated with STEAP dysregulation, such as cancers, and may provide prognostic information useful in defining appropriate therapeutic options. The aim of this study was to test the STEAP mRNA detection in the serum of patients with different malignant tumours by using Real-Time reverse transcription PCR. The results were compared with biological samples obtained by age-matched non-malignant donors. Our data demonstrated that STEAP mRNA is detectable in serum of patients with different solid tumours whereas it is not amplifiable in non-malignant donors. This marker revealed with the molecular method of quantitative PCR in serum, may be useful to discriminate normal and cancer patients.