Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes and risk of renal cell carcinoma

Jong Y. Park, Hung N. Luu, Hyun Y. Park, Hui Yi Lin, Selina Radlein, Giuliano Di Pietro, Chang Dong Yeo, Seung Joon Kim, Nahyeon Kang, Samuel Antwi, Wade J. Sexton, Philippe E. Spiess, Shohreh Dickinson, Alexander Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Telomeres are essential for chromosomal stability and may play a key role in carcinogenesis. Telomere length is suggested as a tentative biomarker of risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, results of previous association studies between telomere length and risk for RCC are inconsistent. Methods: We evaluated RCC risk in relation to peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length using a hospital-based case-control study of 169 RCC cases and 189 controls. Cases were histologically-confirmed RCC patients who were treated at the Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, FL). Controls with no history of cancer underwent a screening exam at the Lifetime Cancer Screening Center at Moffitt Cancer Center to rule out the presence of cancer. Relative telomere length (RTL) was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using peripheral blood leukocyte DNA. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between RTL and RCC risk. Results: As expected, increasing age was inversely correlated with RTL (Pearson r=-0.213, P=0.003) among controls but not cases. Average RTL was significantly shorter in cases as compared with controls [mean ± standard deviation (SD): 3.18±1.50 and 4.39±1.99, respectively, P<0.001]. In contrast, average RTL was not significantly different by gender, race, smoking status among controls or by clinical stages among RCC cases. In regression analysis, we observed that shorter RTL is significantly associated with RCC risk [odds ratio (OR) =1.48; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27-1.71] after adjustment for covariates. Conclusions: We found that shorter RTL is associated with an increased risk for RCC. Our findings suggest that telomere length may be involved in the development of RCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S397-S403
JournalTranslational Cancer Research
StatePublished - 2019


  • Renal cancer
  • Risk
  • Telomere length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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