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Researchers Discover a Gene Family Which led to Liver Cancer

A group of Researchers from the centenary institute analyzed human gene activation data and discovered that the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 gene family is strongly implicated in the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma. It is the most common type of primary Liver Cancer. This report was published in the Journal Cancers.

The research shows that research that the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 gene family and the four enzymes contain shows that it supports potential new therapeutic approaches to fighting tumours found in the liver. Dr Hui Emma Zhang, a researcher in the Centenary Institute’s Liver Enzymes in Metabolism and Inflammation Program and co-senior author on the paper said that the researchers interrogated many publicly accessible human gene databases includingthe Cancer Genome Atlas to identify cancers associated with the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 Gene family.

The results showed there is an association between high levels of the DPP9 enzyme and uterine and lung cancer was found suggesting that further investigatory work in both areas was required. Elevated levels of DPP9, DPP4, FAP and DPP8 enzymes were also discovered in liver tumours and critically, were associated with poor survival rates in HCC patients.

Over 2,000 Australians die each year from Liver Cancer. The five-year survival rate is below 20%. The standard treatment for patients diagnosed with advanced type has a drug that blocks certain cell molecules. The Sorafenib has side effects and usually doesn’t work; only about 11% of late-stage patients survive five years.Liver Cancer patients with Hepatitis B or C infections had tumour shrinkage and extended survival with immunotherapy. The rest of the patients did not benefit, although the researchers could not distinguish cancers related to alcohol damage from cancers related to severe fatty liver disease.

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