Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer: A meta-analysis

Hongxia Ma, Ziyuan Zhou, Sheng Wei, Zhensheng Liu, Karen A. Pooley, Alison M. Dunning, Ulrika Svenson, Göran Roos, Howard D. Hosgood, Min Shen, Qingyi Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

222 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability, and telomere shortening is involved in initiation and progression of malignancies. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between shortened telomeres and risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting. Methods: A dataset composed of 11,255 cases and 13,101 controls from 21 publications was included in a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between overall cancer risk or cancer-specific risk and the relative telomere length. Heterogeneity among studies and their publication bias were further assessed by the χ2-based Q statistic test and Egger's test, respectively. Results: The results showed that shorter telomeres were significantly associated with cancer risk (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14-1.60), compared with longer telomeres. In the stratified analysis by tumor type, the association remained significant in subgroups of bladder cancer (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.38-2.44), lung cancer (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.18-4.88), smoking-related cancers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.83-2.78), cancers in the digestive system (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.53-1.87) and the urogenital system (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.12-2.67). Furthermore, the results also indicated that the association between the relative telomere length and overall cancer risk was statistically significant in studies of Caucasian subjects, Asian subjects, retrospective designs, hospital-based controls and smaller sample sizes. Funnel plot and Egger's test suggested that there was no publication bias in the current meta-analysis (P = 0.532). Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that the presence of shortened telomeres may be a marker for susceptibility to human cancer, but single larger, well-design prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20466
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Telomere Shortening
telomeres
meta-analysis
Meta-Analysis
Telomere
neoplasms
Neoplasms
Digestive system
Publication Bias
Chromosomes
Digestive System Neoplasms
Tumors
Hospital Design and Construction
Urogenital System
Statistics
smoking (food products)
testing
Chromosomal Instability
lung neoplasms
prospective studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Ma, H., Zhou, Z., Wei, S., Liu, Z., Pooley, K. A., Dunning, A. M., ... Wei, Q. (2011). Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer: A meta-analysis. PLoS One, 6(6), [e20466]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020466

Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer : A meta-analysis. / Ma, Hongxia; Zhou, Ziyuan; Wei, Sheng; Liu, Zhensheng; Pooley, Karen A.; Dunning, Alison M.; Svenson, Ulrika; Roos, Göran; Hosgood, Howard D.; Shen, Min; Wei, Qingyi.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 6, e20466, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ma, H, Zhou, Z, Wei, S, Liu, Z, Pooley, KA, Dunning, AM, Svenson, U, Roos, G, Hosgood, HD, Shen, M & Wei, Q 2011, 'Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer: A meta-analysis', PLoS One, vol. 6, no. 6, e20466. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020466
Ma, Hongxia ; Zhou, Ziyuan ; Wei, Sheng ; Liu, Zhensheng ; Pooley, Karen A. ; Dunning, Alison M. ; Svenson, Ulrika ; Roos, Göran ; Hosgood, Howard D. ; Shen, Min ; Wei, Qingyi. / Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer : A meta-analysis. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 6.
@article{e6985e6654144ea491f358cc35641a66,
title = "Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer: A meta-analysis",
abstract = "Background: Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability, and telomere shortening is involved in initiation and progression of malignancies. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between shortened telomeres and risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting. Methods: A dataset composed of 11,255 cases and 13,101 controls from 21 publications was included in a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between overall cancer risk or cancer-specific risk and the relative telomere length. Heterogeneity among studies and their publication bias were further assessed by the χ2-based Q statistic test and Egger's test, respectively. Results: The results showed that shorter telomeres were significantly associated with cancer risk (OR = 1.35, 95{\%} CI = 1.14-1.60), compared with longer telomeres. In the stratified analysis by tumor type, the association remained significant in subgroups of bladder cancer (OR = 1.84, 95{\%} CI = 1.38-2.44), lung cancer (OR = 2.39, 95{\%} CI = 1.18-4.88), smoking-related cancers (OR = 2.25, 95{\%} CI = 1.83-2.78), cancers in the digestive system (OR = 1.69, 95{\%} CI = 1.53-1.87) and the urogenital system (OR = 1.73, 95{\%} CI = 1.12-2.67). Furthermore, the results also indicated that the association between the relative telomere length and overall cancer risk was statistically significant in studies of Caucasian subjects, Asian subjects, retrospective designs, hospital-based controls and smaller sample sizes. Funnel plot and Egger's test suggested that there was no publication bias in the current meta-analysis (P = 0.532). Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that the presence of shortened telomeres may be a marker for susceptibility to human cancer, but single larger, well-design prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.",
author = "Hongxia Ma and Ziyuan Zhou and Sheng Wei and Zhensheng Liu and Pooley, {Karen A.} and Dunning, {Alison M.} and Ulrika Svenson and G{\"o}ran Roos and Hosgood, {Howard D.} and Min Shen and Qingyi Wei",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0020466",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Shortened Telomere length is associated with increased risk of cancer

T2 - A meta-analysis

AU - Ma, Hongxia

AU - Zhou, Ziyuan

AU - Wei, Sheng

AU - Liu, Zhensheng

AU - Pooley, Karen A.

AU - Dunning, Alison M.

AU - Svenson, Ulrika

AU - Roos, Göran

AU - Hosgood, Howard D.

AU - Shen, Min

AU - Wei, Qingyi

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability, and telomere shortening is involved in initiation and progression of malignancies. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between shortened telomeres and risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting. Methods: A dataset composed of 11,255 cases and 13,101 controls from 21 publications was included in a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between overall cancer risk or cancer-specific risk and the relative telomere length. Heterogeneity among studies and their publication bias were further assessed by the χ2-based Q statistic test and Egger's test, respectively. Results: The results showed that shorter telomeres were significantly associated with cancer risk (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14-1.60), compared with longer telomeres. In the stratified analysis by tumor type, the association remained significant in subgroups of bladder cancer (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.38-2.44), lung cancer (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.18-4.88), smoking-related cancers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.83-2.78), cancers in the digestive system (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.53-1.87) and the urogenital system (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.12-2.67). Furthermore, the results also indicated that the association between the relative telomere length and overall cancer risk was statistically significant in studies of Caucasian subjects, Asian subjects, retrospective designs, hospital-based controls and smaller sample sizes. Funnel plot and Egger's test suggested that there was no publication bias in the current meta-analysis (P = 0.532). Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that the presence of shortened telomeres may be a marker for susceptibility to human cancer, but single larger, well-design prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.

AB - Background: Telomeres play a key role in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and stability, and telomere shortening is involved in initiation and progression of malignancies. A series of epidemiological studies have examined the association between shortened telomeres and risk of cancers, but the findings remain conflicting. Methods: A dataset composed of 11,255 cases and 13,101 controls from 21 publications was included in a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between overall cancer risk or cancer-specific risk and the relative telomere length. Heterogeneity among studies and their publication bias were further assessed by the χ2-based Q statistic test and Egger's test, respectively. Results: The results showed that shorter telomeres were significantly associated with cancer risk (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.14-1.60), compared with longer telomeres. In the stratified analysis by tumor type, the association remained significant in subgroups of bladder cancer (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.38-2.44), lung cancer (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.18-4.88), smoking-related cancers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 1.83-2.78), cancers in the digestive system (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.53-1.87) and the urogenital system (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.12-2.67). Furthermore, the results also indicated that the association between the relative telomere length and overall cancer risk was statistically significant in studies of Caucasian subjects, Asian subjects, retrospective designs, hospital-based controls and smaller sample sizes. Funnel plot and Egger's test suggested that there was no publication bias in the current meta-analysis (P = 0.532). Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that the presence of shortened telomeres may be a marker for susceptibility to human cancer, but single larger, well-design prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79958697733&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79958697733&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0020466

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0020466

M3 - Article

C2 - 21695195

AN - SCOPUS:79958697733

VL - 6

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 6

M1 - e20466

ER -