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Study explains male-dominance in liver cancer

Category: Liver

A liver cancer test may benefit men more than women, especially those with hepatitis B, as a new study from the University of Rochester has found that men are at a higher risk for developing the disease.

The research team found that the hepatitis B virus interacts with the androgen receptor, a protein that regulates male hormones, in a way that can often lead to liver cancer.

The study's lead author, Chawnshang Chang, said that the discovery is important because it could help doctors spot individuals at higher risk for cancer, and aid in developing more effective treatments.

"Our study is the first in evidence to demonstrate a direct connection between hepatitis B-induced 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."

Chang added that the findings may also benefit treatments for bladder cancer, which similarly strike men at a higher rate than women, as the androgen receptor may also be involved in that disease.

More than 80 percent of the 22,620 individuals diagnosed with liver cancer in 2009 died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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