From: University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Published October 12, 2017 12:34 PM

Cause of Cancer Form in the Liver Identified

In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have identified the two genes whose mutation cause a serious cancer form found in the liver. The result sets concrete goals for future treatment of the otherwise incurable disease.

There is no effective treatment for the cancer form found in the liver called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, which is mainly found among children and young people. Operation of the tumour is the only treatment available, but after five years less than 40 per cent of the patients are alive. Therefore, it is vital to establish the cause of this form of cancer.

In a study published in the leading scientific journal Gastroenterology researchers from the University of Copenhagen have via tests on mice shown that the coupling of the two genes through a mutation causes a cancer tumour to develop in the liver. The researchers have made sure the genetic composition of the mutation in the mice is identical with the mutation found in human patients. This makes the researchers conclude that the gene mutation also leads to cancer in humans.

’We are now able to document that this mutation is the cause of this form of cancer. We suspected the mutation, but it is the first time it has been documented that it in fact does cause the disease. This makes it an obvious target for future treatment’, says the author of the study, Associate Professor Morten Frödin from the Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, BRIC.

Read more at University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Photo credit: James Heilman, MD via Wikimedia Commons

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