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Study determines cause of male dominance in certain cancers

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

For years, doctors have known that men are more likely to receive a positive liver cancer test than women. However, the reason why this correlation exists has eluded medical science, leaving doctors powerless to recommend lifestyle changes that could reduce men's risk for the deadly disease.

However, a recent study by researchers at the University of Rochester showed that the androgen receptor - a protein that regulates male sex hormones - promotes liver cancer, especially in men who have hepatitis B.

Chawnshang Chang, who led the study, said that the findings could allow doctors to prescribe more effective, targeted treatments for individuals who are at the highest risk of liver cancer.

"Our study is the first in vivo evidence to demonstrate a direct connection between liver cancer and the androgen receptor," Chang said. "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."

The findings could also benefit men who are risk for several other types of cancer, as Chang added that the androgen receptor plays a large role in the function of several organs, and imbalances of the protein are believed to cause harmful conditions.

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