Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The future of telomere length in personalized medicine
Telomere length has been subject of studies for many decades, aiming to elucidate its role in physiological processes, in process of aging and in diverse pathologies. Yet today, there is still no “big title” discovery that would lead to a practical use of telomeres as a reliable biomarker or target for a new drug. However, therapies for chronic disease patients are being tested and companies are already offering commercial tests for telomere length measurement. The strong genetic heritability of telomeres is opening the place for pharmacogenomics researches that could promote the personalized treatment of diverse diseases. In this article, we present the recent knowledge of telomeres genetic determination obtained by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), important biomarkers related to telomere length and review the possibilities of telomere’s practical implementation in the medical treatment of diverse diseases and as a potential biomarker in personalized medicine. Furthermore, we summarise commercial offers of telomere length measurements available and we discuss the actions that should be taken to make steps forward into final application of the accumulated knowledge into practical use.