For an enzyme that was discovered little over a decade ago, an incredible amount of research has been carried out. Many possibilities and tactics for deregulating telomerase or otherwise inhibiting its action have been investigated and shown great promise in the fight against cancer. A lot of attention currently surrounds the topic of G-quadruplex stabilisation, and its direct inhibition of telomere maintenance.
G-quadruplex stabilising molecules have already shown a potency against telomerase without incurring toxicity in other cells. This method has been shown to be effective in inhibiting growth and inducing senescence in human breast cancer cells and as the designs improve, the significance of their anti-tumour activity increases.. Will this and other techniques for manipulating telomere length go even further and stop cancer in its tracks? Ultimately definitive answers will only arise after trials of these new drugs in cancer patients take place. As the research becomes more advanced this once inexplicable process may eventually lead us to a novel class of therapeutic agents that fight a broad spectrum of cancers. Only time will tell.