Nav: Home

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

November 14, 2017

Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective treatments or drugs. However, an unexpected finding made by a team of University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers sheds light on the development of a new strategy for prevention of liver cancer.

While studying the pathogenic mechanisms of liver cancer, the researchers discovered that a commonly used synthetic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) strongly boosts a variety of anti-tumor innate immune functions. They suggest it may have the potential to be administered as a vaccine to prevent cancer in individuals at high-risk of developing liver cancer.

"The liver has unique immune tolerance, which is why existing treatments, including immunotherapy, have little to no lasting effects on liver cancer," said Gen-Sheng Feng, PhD, professor of pathology and molecular biology at UC San Diego and senior author on the paper. "We were initially performing gene deletion to investigate how different types of cells communicate in the liver to promote or suppress cancer development when we found that this synthetic double-stranded RNA prevented liver cancer from initiating by harnessing the body's own innate immune system."

In the findings, published online on November 14 in Cell Reports, researchers describe how dsRNA polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (pIC) prevented primary liver cancer from occurring in mouse models when it was injected into the body cavity during the pre-cancer stage. Primary liver cancer is cancer that begins in the liver; metastatic liver cancer starts elsewhere in the body and spreads to the liver.

The study showed that the formation of tumors -- or tumorigenesis -- was suppressed by reprogramming macrophages (specialized immune cells that destroy targeted cells) and activation of natural killer cells and dendritic cells that kill tumor cells directly or boost adaptive immunity.

Mouse models with tumors induced either by chemical carcinogen or fatty liver diseases were injected with pIC at different stages. Tumor inhibition was successful in all models that received the dsRNA before tumor formation. The greatest decrease in tumor numbers and size was seen when pIC was administered at one month. At three months the impact was reduced but still significant. At five months, when tumors had already began to form, there was little inhibitory effect observed when comparing tumor numbers or sizes to control groups.

Future studies will look at dosages and timing of pIC as a vaccine, said Feng. In addition, the researchers will evaluate the use of pIC in combination with other agents to stop tumor growth when cancer has already initiated.

"The findings suggest that the drug may prevent liver cancer. We have more work to do, but we could make a real impact at a time when liver cancer rates are increasing," said Feng, also a researcher with UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "There is a large population living with chronic liver disease who are at high risk of developing cancer. If we can develop a vaccine that prevents tumor formation or a therapeutic combination that stops existing cancer from growing, we could reduce the rapid increase of liver cancer rates."

Liver cancer in adults is among the leading causes of cancer mortality in the world, with more than 780,000 new cases and 740,000 deaths each year. More than 40,000 new cases are diagnosed and 29,000 deaths are reported in the United States annually.
-end-
Co-authors include: Jin Lee, Rui Liao, Gaowei Wang, Bi-Huei Yang, Xiaolin Luo, Nissi M. Varki, Wenxian Fu, UC San Diego; Shuang-Jian Qiu, Fudan University; and Bing Ren, Ludwig Cancer Research Institute and UC San Diego.

University of California - San Diego

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Author)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly... View Details


The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)

This new and revised edition of the IACP award-winning cookbook brings the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal, through 150 new and updated recipes.

Featuring science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss. A step-by-step guide helps patients nutritionally prepare for all phases of... View Details


Anticancer: A New Way of Life
by David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD (Author)

The revolutionary, New York Times bestselling guide to the powerful lifestyle changes that fight and prevent cancer—an integrative approach based on the latest scientific research
 
“A common-sense blueprint for healthy living.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“Resonating with cancer support communities and recommended nationwide.” —Los Angeles Times
 
“Life affirming . . . filled with practical advice.” —The Seattle Times
 
David Servan-Schreiber was a rising... View Details


The Truth about Cancer: What You Need to Know about Cancer's History, Treatment, and Prevention
by Ty M Bollinger (Author)

Cancer touches more lives than you may think. According to the World Health Organization, one out of three women alive today, and one out of two men, will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

To Ty Bollinger, this isn’t just a statistic. It’s personal. After losing seven members of his family to cancer over the course of a decade, Ty set out on a global quest to learn as much as he possibly could about cancer treatments and the medical industry that surrounds the disease. He has written this book to share what he’s uncovered—some of which may shock you—and to give you... View Details


Tripping over the Truth: How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine's Most Entrenched Paradigms
by Travis Christofferson (Author), Dominic D'Agostino (Foreword)

With a new foreword by Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, PhD and epilogue by the author

 A masterful synchronization of history and cutting-edge science shines new light on humanity's darkest diagnosis.

In the wake of the Cancer Genome Atlas project's failure to provide a legible roadmap to a cure for cancer, science writer Travis Christofferson illuminates a promising blend of old and new perspectives on the disease. Tripping over the Truth follows the story of cancer’s proposed metabolic origin from the vaunted halls of the German scientific golden age to... View Details


Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition
by Greg Anderson (Author)

The ground-breaking classic guide to surviving cancer?now completely updated!

Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.

With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan... View Details


Cancer Hates Tea: A Unique Preventive and Transformative Lifestyle Change to Help Crush Cancer
by Maria Uspenski (Author), Dr. Mary L. Hardy (Foreword)

Drink Tea to Tell Cancer ‘Hit the Road’

Become a tea lover with a purpose and help your body defend itself against cancer. Learn to embrace tea in all its varieties― green, white, black, pu-erh, herbal and more―as both a mental and physical experience to protect your health. Discover the history, growing information and health implications of each variety, as well as uniquely delicious methods to boost your intake with serving suggestions, food pairings and recipes that highlight the benefits of tea.

After her own battle with cancer, Maria Uspenski extensively... View Details


F*ck Cancer: A totally inappropriate self-affirming adult coloring book (Totally Inappropriate Series) (Volume 4)
by Jen Meyers (Author)

*A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to support research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Because fuck cancer.

This book is for you.

If you are fighting cancer, this is for you. If your brother, sister, mom, dad, son, daughter, relative, or friend is fighting cancer, this is for you. If you've lost someone to cancer like I have, this is for you. If cancer affects your life in any way, this is for you.

The stress of cancer can feel crushing. But perhaps this book can help you get away from it all, if only for a little... View Details


Living with Cancer: A Step-by-Step Guide for Coping Medically and Emotionally with a Serious Diagnosis (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
by Vicki A. Jackson (Author), David P. Ryan (Author), Michelle D. Seaton (Author)

The prospect of entering treatment is overwhelming for anyone facing a diagnosis of cancer. While patients have access to a vast amount of medical information online, this advice is often unreliable or confusing. In Living with Cancer, Drs. Vicki A. Jackson and David P. Ryan have crafted the first step-by-step guide aimed at helping people with this life-defining disease grasp what’s happening to them while coping physically and emotionally with cancer treatment.

An empathetic resource full of relatable patient stories, this book teaches patients and caregivers how to ask... View Details


Anti-Cancer Smoothies: Healing With Superfoods: 35 Delicious Smoothie Recipes to Fight Cancer, Live Healthy and Boost Your Energy
by Linda H. Harris (Author)

Anti-Cancer Diet, Cancer Fighting Foods, and Cancer Nutrition

Whether you have cancer or you're at risk of cancer because of your family history - the way you eat can have a major impact on your health and your ability to fight or manage your disease. Cancer is notorious for sapping the strength and nutrition out of a person's body. You'll need to replace a lot of the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that certain drugs and treatments deplete.

The Anti-Cancer Smoothies in this book are made of healthy and tasty vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs that are known to fight cancer.... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."