17 December 2013

Liver cancer and diabetes in one defect

Defective gene can cause diabetes and liver cancer in men

Elena Subbotina, Rossiyskaya GazetaScientists from the University of Michigan have discovered a genetic defect that can provoke the development of the most common type of liver cancer – hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as type 2 diabetes in men.

An article with the results of the study (Gao et al., NCOA5 Haploinsufficiency Results in Glucose Intolerance and Secondary Hepatocellular Carcinoma – VM) was published in the journal Cancer Cell, Medical News Today reports (Gene deficiency in males 'could cause diabetes and liver cancer').

Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma, or primary liver cancer. Other factors are considered to be chronic viral hepatitis and liver diseases associated with alcoholism.

It is known that hepatocellular carcinoma is 2-4 times more common among men than among women.

During the study, scientists found that a defect in the NCOA5 gene causes the production of cells leading to the development of liver cancer. This was observed in an experiment on mice – 94 percent of males showed signs of cancer. Moreover, even before the mice were affected by cancer, they recorded the development of impaired glucose tolerance – in 100 percent of rodents. This condition in humans indicates an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to the authors of the study, the results of their work indicate that the male body has a genetic predisposition to hepatocellular carcinoma and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Differences in susceptibility to these diseases between male and female individuals may be explained by the action of hormones. So, the risk of the female body can be reduced by sex hormones estrogens, which play a kind of protective role against both diseases. In the male body, less estrogen is produced.

As the website writes russian.news.cn , experts analyzed, among other things, information about patients. It turned out that most of them are men who simultaneously suffer from primary liver cancer and type 2 diabetes. Approximately 40 percent of patients have a defective NCOA5 gene. Thus, this result coincides with the results of animal experiments.

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