Recent study by local researchers offers treatment to liver cancer

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Published on 3 Jun 2018, 4:19
"간암 치료 길 열렸다"...발병 유전자 발견
South Korean researchers have recently discovered that a certain protein plays a pivotal role in causing cancer to develop in the liver.
With this protein isolated, the team says, new techniques could make liver cancer treatments more effective.
Cho Sung-min has this story.
Cancer of the liver is the fifth most deadly kind of cancer in the world.
And in Korea, data collected since 2016 show it's the second deadliest here. And it has a high rate of recurrence.
In fact, experts say up to 70 percent of patients who are successfully treated for liver cancer, get it again.

Those figures make this recent discovery by local researchers a possible game changer.
A team at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology said it found a specific protein called TonEBP that triggers the development and recurrence of liver cancer.
Interestingly, its was first identified in 1999 by Professor Kwon Hyug-moo… who also led this study.


"TonEBP occurs in body parts with inflammation. The more the body part is inflamed, the more proteins are found."

According to the study conducted on nearly three hundred liver cancer patients in Korea, almost all cases have proved a strong correlation between a liver tumor and the protein.
Scientists say TonEBP expression was clearly higher in tumors than in adjacent non-cancerous tissues in more than 92 percent of patients.
The result is considered significant since the team made the finding by directly testing on cancerous human tissue… as opposed to numerous cases where experiments are done on animals.

Professor Kwon says the next step for him and his team is to find out how resistent the protein is to chemotherapy,... which will enable more effective liver cancer treatments.
Cho Sung-min, Arirang News.

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