New Cause of Liver Cancer Discover
Austrian scientist Johannes Haybaeck discovered that increased levels of cytokines lymphotoxin could cause liver infection and develops to liver cancer later. The findings made him win the Pfizer Research Awards 2011 presented by Medical University Graz, Austria, on Thursday.
Accordingly, a high-level concentration of cytokines lymphotoxin (LT) alpha and beta and their receptor LT beta R can be found in the liver tissue of patients infected with hepatitis B- or hepatitis C virus.
The lymphotoxin ultimately led to a liver infection that developed to liver cancer later. In addition, the altered liver cells form metastases that spread within the liver.
In addition to chronic alcohol abuse, drug abuse or fungal toxins, virus infection was believed to be one of the most common causes of liver inflammation and liver cancer.
The scientists obtained the results by conducting tumor therapies in mice. They produced a lot of LTs to the liver tissues of the mice though a genetic material change and finally came to the experimental results.
Whether the observations in the mice can also play a role in the human liver tumor cells is still unclear. Haybaeck and his research colleagues are underway.