Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Scientists have discovered a genetic deficiency in males that could prompt the development of the most common type of liver cancer - hepatocellular carcinoma - and type 2 diabetes. This is according to a study published in the journal Cancer Cell.
Researchers from Michigan State University, led by Hua Xiao of the College of Human Medicine at the university, say their findings could lead to new therapeutic interventions for both conditions.
Type 2 diabetes is commonly known to be a risk factor for liver cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, this increased risk is more common in people who have other underlying factors, such as chronic viral hepatitis or heavy alcohol use.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is also two to four times more prevalent in men than in women.
In a mouse study, the investigators discovered that a gene called NCOA5 - found in both men and women - triggered the production of cells that lead to the development of HCC when deficient in 94% of male mice.
Furthermore, prior to the mice developing the cancer, the researchers discovered occurrences of glucose intolerance in 100% of the mice - a condition that indicates increased risk for type 2 diabetes in humans.
Xiao says their findings provide evidence that males have a genetic susceptibility for HCC and type 2 diabetes.
He explains that the reason for the differences in susceptibility between males and females may be a result of different hormone levels between genders.
"Because estrogen may function through the NCOA5 gene and previously has been found to play somewhat of a protective role against both diseases, the result is a decreased risk in females," he says. "Since males produce lower amounts of estrogen, this can contribute to their susceptibility."
The investigators note that the prevalence of diabetes is increasing worldwide. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 25.8 million people in the US alone with the condition.
They also point out that there are limited treatments for HCC. Options include liver transplantation, surgical resection and ablation techniques for patients with early stages of the disease.
But they note that with further research, their findings could lead to new therapeutic treatments for both conditions.
"At this point, it's not known if the genetic deficiency can be reversed and needs to be investigated further. But if it can somehow be changed through treatments such as drug therapies, this could substantially increase the chances of men in particular warding off these diseases."
Medical News Today recently reported on a study suggesting that drinking coffee could reduce the risk of liver cancer by 40%.
Written by Honor Whiteman
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
NCOA5 Haploinsufficiency Results in Glucose Intolerance and Subsequent Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Shenglan Gao, Aimin Li, Feiye Liu, Fengsheng Chen, Mark Williams, Chengliang Zhang, Zakiya Kelley, Chin-Lee Wu, Rongcheng Luo, Hua Xiao1, published in Cancer Cell, 9 December 2013. Abstract
Genetic flaw in males triggers onset of liver cancer, diabetes , news release from Michigan State University, accessed 10 December 2013.
Visit our Genetics category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Whiteman, Honor. "Gene deficiency in males 'could cause diabetes and liver cancer'." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 11 Dec. 2013. Web.
18 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269952>
Whiteman, H. (2013, December 11). "Gene deficiency in males 'could cause diabetes and liver cancer'." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269952.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.