Enzyme deficiency may contribute to liver cancer, Mount Sinai research indicates

July 27, 2005

(Toronto, Ontario, July 27, 2005) - Primary liver cancer is much more likely to take root when a naturally occurring enzyme is in short supply, a team of researchers has found at Mount Sinai Hospital's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.

Using a knockout mouse model, the team has found that the likelihood of hepatoma, or primary liver cancer, increases substantially when half the normal amount of an enzyme called Plk4 is present. Furthermore, 60 per cent of patients with hepatoma were missing one copy of the Plk4 gene in their cancers. The genetic basis for hepatoma has not previously been extensively explored.

The study is published today in the August edition of the prestigious science journal, Nature Genetics.

"Our study indicates that loss of one copy of Plk4 is a major risk factor for primary liver cancer," says Dr. Carol Swallow, a surgical oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and an Associate Professor of Surgery at University of Toronto.

"This represents a major advance in our understanding of hepatoma at a molecular level and provides insight into who may be predisposed to this type of cancer genetically."

Dr. Swallow and her co-investigators, Dr. Jim Dennis, Senior Investigator at the SLRI, and Mike Ko, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, believe that this finding has important implications for screening and early detection.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 667,000 new cases of liver cancer worldwide in 2005, with 83 per cent of them occurring in developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. The disease is also more prevalent in men than it is in women.

"Unlike many common cancers, the incidence of hepatoma is increasing in both developed and developing countries," said Dr. Swallow.
-end-
About Mount Sinai Hospital:
Mount Sinai Hospital is recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, teaching and research. Its key priority programs are Women's and Infants' Health, Surgical Subspecialties and Oncology, Internal Medicine and Subspecialties, and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. It is a University of Toronto-affiliated patient care, teaching and research centre. Visit http://www.mtsinai.on.ca for more information about Mount Sinai Hospital.

About The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Established in 1985, the SLRI at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is one of the world's leading centres for biomedical research. The Institute is part of Mount Sinai Hospital, an internationally recognized 440-bed acute care academic health centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. SLRI has 513 research, administrative and support staff, 100,000 square feet of laboratory space and a 25,000-square-foot pre-clinical research lab. For more information about SLRI research, visit http://www.mshri.on.ca

University of Toronto

Related Developing Countries Articles from Brightsurf:

Women in developing countries need radiotherapy and vaccines for cervical cancer
Millions of women in low- and middle-income countries will need life-saving radiotherapy to treat their cervical cancer, despite the growth of essential human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination prevention programs.

Increasing crop insurances adoption in developing countries
Farmers in developing countries often rely heavily on their yearly harvest to feed their families.

Spanking in developing countries does more harm than good
Spanking may be increasingly harmful for children on a more global scale than previously known, a new University of Michigan study indicates.

Secondhand smoke causing thousands of still births in developing countries
Exposure to secondhand smoke is causing thousands of still births in developing countries, according to new research carried out by the University of York.

Climate geoengineering research should include developing countries
An appeal on projects that could mask global warming is published in Nature by scientists from 12 countries, including Brazilian Paulo Artaxo.

Police satisfaction in developing countries dependent on less corruption
Improving police satisfaction in developing nations will require a reduction in corruption and greater public security and safety, a new study by researchers at the universities of Kent and Utrecht has shown.

Delaying marriage in developing countries benefits children
Delaying the marriage age of young women in parts of the developing world has significant positive effects for their children, a new study shows.

China's economic growth could help other developing countries
Research published today examines China's recent successful economic growth and how this could be applied to help other developing countries grow their economies.

Fiscal incentives may help reduce carbon emissions in developing countries
A study has found that fiscal policies introduced by governments in developing countries can have a significant effect on lowering harmful carbon emissions and help countries with fulfilling their commitments under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.

China releases first report on biotechnology in developing countries
The first report on biotechnology in developing countries revealing an overall picture of their biotechnology growth and competitiveness was released on Nov.

Read More: Developing Countries News and Developing Countries Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.