Why men get liver cancer more often than women

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Washington, May 20 (ANI): A new research may help explain why men get liver cancer more often than women.

The study, conducted by University of Rochester researchers, shows a direct link between the androgen receptor, which is more active in men, and the hepatitis B virus as it relates to the deadly cancer.

Study co-author Chawnshang Chang, the George Hoyt Whipple Distinguished Professor of Pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and colleagues, showed that the androgen receptor (AR), a protein that mediates male sex hormones, promotes liver cancer when hepatitis B is present by altering DNA replication of the virus.

Chang's laboratory created a mouse model for HBV-induced liver cancer and reported that knocking out AR suppressed the HBV-induced cancer.

The identification of the AR pathway is a potential new treatment target that could translate to the clinic.

"Our study is the first in vivo evidence to demonstrate a direct connection between HBV-induced liver cancer and the AR. This is important because so far most work has focused on eliminating total serum androgen levels, a type of therapy that has shown little success," Chang said.

The study is published May 19, 2010, in Science Translational Medicine, a new journal from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS. (ANI)

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