A study published by the University of Basel has discovered a new anti-cancer protein that not only prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver.
The anti-cancer protein, LHPP serves as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer. Researchers believe that this detection may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.
The incidence of liver cancer, known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is usually diagnosed at a late stage where the liver is damaged and hence overall diagnosis is poor.
According to Xinhua, the anti-cancer proteins prevent uncontrolled cell growth but are often defective in cancer cells.
The first author Sarvanth Hindupur said, “It is striking that LHPP is present in healthy tissue and completely absent in the tumour tissue.”
In the study conducted in a mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma, the researchers analysed a total of more than 4,000 proteins, comparing them in healthy and tumour tissue.
“Similar to the mouse model, we also saw a striking decrease in LHPP levels in tumours of patients with liver cancer,” added Hindupur. The findings were published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature.
Liver tumours build up from mutated cells that produce and proliferate uncontrollably. Cancer cells have the ability to spread to healthy part of the liver and other parts of the body. These cells spread to other parts of the body.
Certain factors increase the risk of liver cancer in a person including family history of liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver due to any cause, eating foods contaminated with aflatoxin, and chronic liver infection with hepatitis b or hepatitis c virus.
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