Androgen Receptor May Explain Male Dominance in Liver Cancer

Hepatitis B and liver cancer: why men are more exposed?
Sex hormones play a role in liver cancer associated with hepatitis B, which could finally explain why men infected with the virus are much more likely than women to say the cancer according to a new study published in the journal "Translational Medicine". These findings open new perspectives for treatment of skin cancer including drugs targeting the androgen receptor tumors.

The liver cancer, which affects the largest organ in the body, is the fifth most common cancer and the third in terms of mortality worldwide. Infections due to hepatitis B virus, endemic in many Asian countries including China, are responsible for about half the cases of liver cancer worldwide.

The virus interacts with the androgen receptor:
In this study, researchers have discovered why men with hepatitis B are more likely to develop liver cancer than women. The answer lies in the genome of the virus: it contains a particular sequence of DNA that specifically interacts with the receptor to male sex hormones, androgens. In liver cells, a cascade of reactions harmful to the liver tissue is triggered when the receptor binds to this sequence.

Researchers have discovered that targeting the androgen receptor, rather than hormones themselves, they could inhibit tumor growth in mice significantly. They also produced, for their experiments, the first genetically modified mouse with hepatitis B can develop

liver tumors following exposure to low doses of carcinogen. They then showed the androgen receptor could be removed with a chemical causing the arrest of tumor growth. The treatment had no influence on circulating levels of androgens in the body and showed no apparent toxicity in mice.

These results suggest that drugs capable of targeting the androgen receptor rather that these hormones could be a promising therapy against liver cancer.

Androgen Receptor Promotes Hepatitis B Virus-Induced Through Modulation hepatocarcinogenesis of Hepatitis B Virus RNA Transcript . Ming-Heng Wu, Wen-Lung Ma, Cheng-Lung Hsu, Yuh-Ling Chen, Jing-Hsiung James Or, Charlotte Kathryn Ryan, Yao-Ching Hung, Shuyuan Yeh, Chang Chawnshang. Translational Medicine

Story Source:
The above story is from materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center.


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